As an American, I have had only select exposure to comic magazines originating from the United Kingdom. Though I’m aware of such stalwarts as 2000AD and The Beano, my primary interests mean that I’m far more familiar with the country’s licensed titles (mostly Marvel’s Transformers and Action Force), plus a small smattering of material from that time in the ’90s when Marvel’s US branch tried to foist Marvel UK’s original output onto US soil as The Next Big Thing. (SPOILERS: it wasn’t, because that output consisted of titles like Gun Runner, Gene Dogs, and Death’s Head II… and Death Wreck, Die-Cut, and Death Metal, and… anyway, you get the idea.)

Given this limited sampling, imagine my genuine surprise when I encountered a stack of vintage My Little Pony tie-in comics for sale at a dealer’s booth at the 2012 My Little Pony Convention and Fair - comics from a publisher I had never heard of, in a story format I had never before experienced. These magazines - printed by Egmont under their “London Editions” imprint - are slightly taller than the licensed Marvel UK books I own, and each issue contains a mix of comics and illustrated text stories. What really makes these stand out to me, however, is the way the comic stories are laid out: with their art and narrative captions on separate planes, they’re more like storybooks, which is a construction I have never encountered in a traditional American comic.

As for the stories themselves, most of them are prosaic (so far as yarns about magic pastel ponies go)… but every now and again, I have encountered tales that are on the cusp of madness. This is one of those - which you can read above! - but in summary:

Applejack feels bad about being clumsy, so decides to go see if a friendly witch can help her. On her way over, she knocks down a pixie laundry line, and gets so scared she runs until she’s in the mountains… where a boulder moves, and suddenly Applejack finds herself in the lair of the evil Jewel Wizard! The Jewel Wizard has enslaved some Ponies, who have worked in his mines for so long that they can’t see in real light anymore. Applejack tries to go for help, but ends up shattering the Jewel Wizard’s crystalline throne - and throwing him into the bowels of the earth! The flying crystal shards from the throne embed themselves in the other Ponies’ eyes, which, amazingly, restores their sight… and, it just so happens, turns them into the Twinkle-Eyed Ponies!

So, yes, just to make it clear: this story of Applejack KILLING A WIZARD to END FORCED PONY ENSLAVEMENT that includes EYE-LACERATION BY GEMSTONES was written to sell a sparkly-eye toy gimmick.

That… that is amazing. That is GENUINELY AMAZING.

And that, dear readers, is why this is my 1000th Tumblr post. Hope to see you all for the next thousand!

"Applejack’s Amazing Adventure," from issue 11 of the London Editions/Egmont Magazines My Little Pony comic (originally teased here).

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    ALWAYS BEST PONY
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