Hello & welcome back to Trotting Through The Snow. The holiday celebration here on Trotting Through Life. You know, there isn’t enough official holiday material for MLP. Sure, you have the Hearth’s Warming Eve episode and the Appleack mirco.

 

But other then that, you’d have to turn to fimfiction to get your fix for holiday stories with the Mane Six. If only, there was something else that was officially licensed to the brand that took place during the holidays.

An Equestira Girls Holiday comic. Well, it’s not ponies but I do like the EQG movies. So, this could be good. So, let’s take a look see at this and see if this can’t get us into the holiday spirit with these characters that I enjoy so much. Let’s head through the portal and head back to Canterlot High, one more time.

Covers

Cover A

I like this cover, I think it’s cute. It’s a Christmas selfie and that ties into the story of the comic quite well with and I love the wrapping paper look of the cover.

Cover B

Cover B is nice but I’ve got one complaint. I’ve had this hang up ever since I saw someone point out that Rarity is not wearing a scarf and now I can’t take my eyes off her neck and that it looks oddly drawn. Other than that, I really like this cover. This cover is actually a take on the cover of the My Little Pony Annual from 2013 that served as a prequel to the first EQG movie.

It just takes Twilight out of the picture and replaces her with Sunset Shimmer and moves it from fall to winter. I think I like the second cover more than Cover A.

Staff

Ted Anderson – Writer

Ooh boy, I need to address the elephant in the room, let’s just say that with the Power Ponies comic annual, this year. Anderson put in an OC that upset a lot of Bronies but we are not here to focus on that. He did an admirable job but this does sour my view on the story a bit seeing as the comic tackles the issue of cyber bullying and well, to include an OC of a online blogger that likes to belittle male fans of the show sends mixed messages. Let me make it aware that before I placed my pre-order for this comic, I had no idea that he was the writer for the comic. And let me say that I do not support Mr. Anderson’s views on bullying but I was able to separate the art from the artist and enjoy the story on it’s own without this fact lingering over me and I would suggest that if you are interested in this comic as it is actually quite good, that you do the same. I understand if anyone has troubles taking this stance as I do with this story as not everyone can look at a piece of work without thinking of the artist. If you wish to read more on this, I will link to the discussion thread on the IDW forums. I do apologize for bringing this up but I feel that with reviewing this comic, I could not ignore this.

Tony Fleecs – Artist

The art was good and passable in this holiday comic. I enjoyed the look of it and had a very inviting look to it as could be seen with some of the pages.

Colors – Heather Breckel

Once, again, the colors were quite good and worked well for the story as they were very bright and popped off the page.

Letterer – Tom B. Long

I noticed that some of letters seemed really crunched in and it was hard to read.

Editor – Bobby Curnow

I do think that this story could’ve been edited down as it didn’t really need to be 53 pages long and also , perhaps it has to do with when I read it but I thought I saw some spelling and grammar errors.

The Plot

For fans of MLP, this comic will feel as though that it is retreading familiar ground. The main issue of the comic tackles the ramification of spreading rumors and gossip and sharing secrets that weren’t meant to be shared publicly. I’ve seen this comic compared to episodes of the show, most notably Ponyville Confidential. We start the comic at Canterlot High as we learn that Sunset hasn’t exactly had the best holidays in the past. She was never close with her family back in Equestria and she didn’t have anyone to spend the holidays with here in the EQG realm.

This gives AJ an idea as she contacts the rest of her friends via social media and texting to plans to have slumber parties leading up to Christmas day at each friends’ house. And at first, this seems like a good idea to cheer up Sunset Shimmer. But things start to down south after the first sleepover at Pinkie’s as we learn of AJ’s family nickname of Piggly Wiggly. Piggly Wiggly, why does that sound so familiar?

That’s right. Anyways, it turns out that when AJ was little, he used to play in the mud in the pigpen on Sweet Apple Acres and that is how she gained the nickname, Piggly Wiggly.

No one except for AJ’s family and now her friends knew of this nickname. That is until the next day at school, when they learn that it had been posted online to the social media site, MyStable. (Really, a MySpace reference). It was posted by someone using the name Anon-a-Miss.

Really, we are going with that nickname? Real subtle. At first, no one has any idea of who it is. That is spreading these rumors but that does not deter the girls from continuing with their sleepover extravaganza. They have the next sleepover at Rarity’s house and here, we get the first hint at who might be behind all of this as we see Flutters chatting with Sweetie Belle. But big sister, Rarity pushes Sweetie out of the room. Even after a protest from Sweetie Belle of…

Aw c’mon! I can be cool!

We see the girls continue to have fun singing and taking selfies but the next morning, we see that videos from the night before had been posted such as one labelled Fluttershy’s Singing Fail. Throughout all of this, we see Sunset Shimmer using the journal from Rainbow Rocks to write to Twilight about she is starting to feel closer to her friends and is starting to consider them, her family. Yeah, that feeling isn’t going to last very long. As we soon learn, the girls blame Sunset Shimmer for being Anon-A-Miss because all of the pictures that were uploaded online were taken by Sunset. Yeah, this doesn’t exactly paint her in the best light but with her friends jumping to the conclusion that she is the culprit. It’s heartbreaking watching The Humane Five tear Sunset down to the point of being in tears on knees in the hallway. We see that things are starting to get outta hand as the videos and messages are getting more likes, comments, & shares. Sunset Shimmer confronts Trixie because she believes that Trixie is the culprit but this is not the case but Trixie admires Anon-A-Miss for all that she has accomplished. Things start to get out of hand as Anon-A-Miss has gone from posting about The Humane Six to every student at Canterlot High. Including an argument between Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara. Knowing, who the culprits are, does make this kind of funny. Not right but funny.

The next night, Sunset writes another letter to Twilight Sparkle and Twilight reminds Sunset of the Windigos and even get a cool image of EQG versions of the Windigos . Sadly, this picture has not been released online yet. We see the constant fighting get to Sunset Shimmer but she remembers a passage that Twilight wrote to her.

Sometimes all you can
do is stay strong
Stay yourself
And find your family

This convinces Sunset to head to Sugarcube Corner to prove her innocence to her friends by showing them the letters that she has has been writing to Twilight. And just as she is going to reveal, who Anon-A-Miss, the culprits come clean. Anon-A-Miss, this whole time was Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom, & Scootaloo. They were jealous of all the time, that their sisters and idol were spending with Sunset Shimmer. Apple Bloom uploaded the Piggly Wiggly nickname and Sweetie Belle posted the video and Scoots was just along for the ride. People started sending Anon-A-Miss other secrets and they just shared, not meaning for this whole thing to get out of hand but it did and and after they confessed, Principal Celestia, the three young girls, six months detention but each of them them got to celebrate Christmas with all of their family. Yeah, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that this comic felt like a retread of Ponyville Confidental but instead of a newspaper, it was social media, and instead of Gabby Gums, it was Anon-A-Miss. At first, I thought that it made sense for a story like this to be told in the EQG universe as cyber bullying is something would be out of place in MLP proper because as Sunset points out, the closest thing, they have to cell phones are fire breathing dragons that burp letters. But Ponyville Confidential seem to hit all of the same notes that this comic was attempting to cover but I think that episode handled it better. It wasn’t bad but didn’t really pop either. And the holiday really played no part in this story other then serving as setting for the story. Honestly, this story could’ve been told during any time of the year and you would have gotten the same message across.

Characters

Main Character

Sunset Shimmer

I truly felt bad for Sunset and it was a little frustrating that her supposed friends would jump so quickly to excusing her. I’m not trying to erase all the bad things that she has done but did you forget that Sunset helped you guys save your world from The Dazzlings.

I would think after something like that, you could learn to trust her a bit more.

Supporting Characters

Fluttershy, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, & Rainbow Dash

While I do believe that the girls’ reactions are understandable. They were way too fast to jump to believing that Sunset Shimmer was the one that was sharing their secrets. They should’ve let her explain her side of the story before jumping down her throat without letting Sunset defend herself.

Sweetie Belle, Apple Bloom, & Scootaloo (Anon-A-Miss)

This part was truthfully, the most frustrating thing of all. I don’t mind that attempt at telling a story about cyber bullying as that is a very real issue that people today face. Cyber bullying is still a new concept for a lot of people and they don’t know how to handle it properly. And I feel like making the CMC, the culprits undermines the issue that this comic was trying to tackle. What they did was wrong. I am not trying to excuse that and I do get the idea of that it can be anyone behind a fake username but I just feel like the issue of cyber bullying would’ve been handled better, if had been revealed to be another character that actually has a beef with Sunset. After the confrontation with Trixie, I was expecting her to be Anon-A-Miss but to have it be these three and just because they were jealous of Sunset, seems to weaken the message that this story was trying to get across.

My Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, my feelings on this comic are mixed . It tries to send a good message about cyber bullying but again, I feel like the show has handled this better and I feel as though, the comic undermines it message with the reveal of who Anon-A-Miss actually is. Is it bad? No, but it tries to take a topic that I don’t think the staff knew how to properly handle. I had fun reading it, the first time through but there were quite a few elements, I found frustrating. Ah well, join me tomorrow as we look at the music of…

By Moviefan12

Disney Geek, Oncer, Brony, and Expressionist

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