One of my favorite comics from this fandom. Such a nice message, delivered in a great way. This feels like something that could happen in the show. The subtlety of having Applejack demonstrating her wide variety talents all while Twilight is asking her questions drives the moral home without the viewer even realizing it until the very end. The slight gag of having Applebloom in their is excellent, as is the listing of all of Pinkie Pie's talents at the end. The art style is similar the show, but with your own more angular style and with the addition of some shading. The style works well with the comic layout, and the ponies still look excellent.
This is an awesome comic, I smile every time I see it!
The lack of popularity of earth ponies is fairly simple to explain. It's that unicorns have pretty much a wildcard in magic that can be used for anything and pegasi can fly. A lack of visual distinction is therefor enough to explain a statistical lack of popularity.
To be perfectly fair though, I don't think the pony distinctions were designed with high-level geeks in mind. It was designed for a cartoon for little girls. I know for strong MLP fans this "explanation" is unacceptable and a bit of a thought-terminating cliche, but it is still ultimately true that a setting intended for children doesn't need to be as intricate or well-explained. This sort of streamlining allows more narrative freedom, too, since an episode premise is allowed to boil down to "a unicorn did it".
And yeah, as this comic shows, they actually did put some decent thought into the characters when matching them to ponies, even if the pony distinctions were simple. Twilight is a typical unicorn, Rarity is somewhat atypical. Rainbow Dash is a typical pegasus (don't tell her I said so!) while Fluttershy is very atypical. Applejack is a typical earth pony, Pinkie Pie is extremely atypical. In general the issue just comes down to "magic" being just too attractive a concept to ignore on a level deeper than a cartoon, certainly not on the level the pony fandom devotes itself. It's a shame because I really like earth ponies myself and feel if the fandom ignores them too much, then we begin to lose the properly "equine" feeling of the setting. They become a lot cooler if you think of them in terms of high fantasy druids.
I also think the pony types could do with a bit more blurring. I like to think of Fluttershy as possessing a bit of earth pony power, Rainbow Dash's signature ability being technically magic, and all we need is Twilight or Rarity to learn how to fl-- oooooooh, that's right.
In any case, it'd still be nice if the setting didn't have so much "decided" for you by birth or by your cutie mark. But no fantasy setting is perfect and this one is damn good just because it emphasizes love instead of killing orcs and dragons.
Well is fun to overanalyze stuff. Is our job as fans to fill all the whole with our crazy theories.
For example: How can ponies grab stuff with hooves? The average person would say "Is a cartoon it doesn't need to make sense." or "To make them more human" I say "Screw you! All ponies have tactile telekinesis!"
Or the area under the hoof is made of a sort of spongelike flesh capable of gripping objects. We already know they don't have typical equine anatomy since Pinkie almost vomited in season 1. It's not so much their picking up stuff without hands that confuses me nearly as much as why everything in their society still seems ergonomically designed with humans in mind rather than intelligent quadrupeds.
It would take hardly any evolutionary modification at all to make the frog a usable "thumb" that could grasp objects against the inner edge of the hoof, or vaccuum seal by spreading out to lift larger objects with the hoof laid flat against them. And yyyup, "baked bads" had me "ah-HA!"-ing at the screen with its vomity pones! I've spent plenty of years living next to horses, so I still expect the girls to flip their heads up when they greet each other and cringe every time Spike waves an open hand at them.
The visual fact of everything being apparently designed for human use has weirded me out since Day One; there are *so many things* that would make more sense if they were redesigned. Few of the handles on things are wide enough to put a whole hoof through, and they hardly ever wear bags or anything with pockets. I think it's the hammers that distress me the most, though; wouldn't it be easier to just have a padded steel cup-shoe (like the princesses wear) so they could *stomp* nails down, rather than swinging their entire head and neck? They must have some hellaciously effective antibodies, too, if they use their mouths to manipulate public objects.
My headcanon is that there were humans in that world thousands (or tens-of-thousands) of years ago-- before the equines were sapient-- and they still have some combination of pre-literate oral tradition and dim racial memory that subconsciously compels them to design things in certain ways that don't really make sense in the modern world.
Given Fluttershy's Laurenian origin as a G4 update of Posey-- and Meghan McCarthy's tweet that we'd see more parents in Season 4-- I really would like to see Posey brought in as 'Shy's mother in a "it's okay to be mixed-race" episode. It would make perfect sense given that her cutie mark talent is basically "Be An Earth Pony", and it fits the show aesthetic for updating previous-gen characters.
I've never thought of Twilight as having any malice in her, she was just curious because it was something she'd never really considered before. Being Twilight, when she realized there was a thing she didn't know, she found an expert and asked.
This is a great tale. I've often wondered if the show might explore the fact that earth ponies get overlooked for their more fantasy-based cousins. You really capture the earth pony spirit with this comic set. And the artwork is wonderful.