Announced at Comic-Con International in San Diego last month, IDW Publishing brings the hit animated TV series “My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” to comics in November. Katie Cook writes the new ongoing series with interior art by Andy Price and covers by artists including Jill Thompson and Stephanie Buscema. Cook, best known for writing and drawing the webcomic “Gronk,” is a self-proclaimed “My Little Pony” fan who’s tackling her first ongoing comics series. “I was a big Pony fan back in the ’80s, because that’s when I was a little girl,” she told CBR News. “I will admit that I dropped off the Pony planet during the second and third reincarnations of the license, but I came back with a flourish with ‘Friendship Is Magic.’ It’s a blast.”
As a fan, Cook understands the broad appeal of “Friendship Is Magic,” which has built a large cult following of adult male fans known as “Bronies,” along with its appeal to younger audiences. “I think the characters are strong and lovable, the stories are well-written, and there’s an underlying sense of humor to the show that’s very hip,” she said. “Kids enjoy it; adults enjoy it. It’s a great all-ages property now, and it’s not just for girls anymore.”
Cook aims for every “Friendship Is Magic” fan demographic to appreciate the new series, which stars the six main characters from the TV series — Twilight Sparkle; Applejack; Rarity; Fluttershy; Rainbow Dash; and Pinkie Pie — and chronicles their adventures in Ponyville. “I am writing this comic for, well, me!” the writer said. “I am writing the book that, as a Pony fan and an all-ages writer, I would want to read. I don’t want a story about how Fluttershy started a fluffy bunny sanctuary — I want stories and depth, while still being something a younger kid will get engrossed in.”
Asked about the series’ direction and opening storyline, Cook was reticent to offer little more than a hint. “I guess I can say that we start to see some ponies acting very strange,” she said. She revealed that “there will be some surprises” when it comes to new characters possibly popping up, “but our focus is really on the current ‘Mane 6.'” And what might be coming up in the future? “There are ponies in the comic. Lots and lots of ponies.” Fans curious about which characters will be featured prominently might at least take a hint from Cook’s response about her favorite character: “TWILIGHT SPARKLE IS THE BEST PONY.”
Cook was more forthcoming about the process of working with artist Andy Price, which is new territory for the writer since her previous work has been as both writer and artist. “This is really a new territory for me, as I usually draw all my own stories,” she said. “The biggest change has been writing a ‘real’ script instead of my usual thumbnailed pages with poorly made dialogue notes. But I have known Andy for years, and I know he can draw whatever I throw at him. I trust him and his art. I’ve never known a grown man that can draw a better pony. His facial expressions and body language for them really help with the visuals for the book.”
“My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic” #1 is on sale in November from IDW.