IDW scribe Ted Anderson talks MLP Equestria Girls Holiday Special
It’s only mid-November, but the holiday specials are starting to show up on TV and at your local comic stores! In anticipation of IDW’s “My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Holiday Special,” Comic Book Resources shot the breeze with writer Ted Anderson.
Not to give too much of the story away, but one of the major themes the Holiday Special tackles is cyber-bullying. In the interview, Anderson explains why he decided to tackle such a loaded topic in the book.
Cyber-bullying is a major issue that has led to a not insubstantial amount of tragedy. Were you concerned about approaching the subject in a holiday special, which is often the source of more light-hearted fare?
At first I wasn’t sure that I should pitch this story, because I didn’t know if I could give the issue a respectful treatment. Cyber-bullying is absolutely a terrible thing, and part of what makes it so pernicious is that a lot of kids who do it don’t recognize the severity of what they’re doing. It’s incredibly easy to share an image or post a message on someone’s Facebook wall without considering the consequences; the speed and anonymity of the internet makes it possible to damage someone’s life forever with just a few clicks. Putting such a serious topic into a comic about pastel horses (or people) does seem a bit risky.
All that being said, ultimately I’m glad that Hasbro approved the story and that I got to tell it, because, since it is so easy and so damaging, kids need to have a story like this that lays out the consequences of such actions. In the comic, the level of bullying is relatively light compared to what you see in reality — it’s mostly sharing embarrassing personal stories in a public space, not spreading damaging rumors or potentially incriminating photos — but the effects aren’t downplayed. We show what happens to those who have their privacy violated, those who are falsely accused of participating, those who actually commit such acts, and even those who just delight in these stories and spread them without any thought of the consequences. The point is to show the toxic culture that develops when privacy is destroyed — but, at the same time, it’s a holiday story, so we also show how the bonds of family can help keep us together even in such a culture.
A little heavy for a holiday issue? Maybe! But I wanted to tell a story that had some serious conflict at its heart, and potential for good character interactions, and if it also convinces even one reader not to reblog the latest scandalous rumor … well, then it’s done its job.
Check out the full interview HERE at CBR. The “My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Holiday Special” one-shot will be available this December from IDW Publishing.
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