Littlest Pet Shop the comic series is property of IDW
Hello, Spongey here.
When it comes to Media, I grew up on Television and Film, so that is what I know best. I know how it all works and how to properly critique it, and all that good stuff. However, as I started to use the Internet and gain knowledge about other mediums, I actually become invested in those mediums, even though I didn’t have much experience in them.
I like to keep myself up to date on most things when it comes to Media, because I am interested….and so I don’t look like an idiot when others may get me in a conversation about them. Of course, I’m talking about Video Games and Comics.
Let’s focus on Comics. I think most people are pretty aware of Comics in general, due to them being the source of most of the big blockbusters that come out these days. But, it’s the Medium I was the furthest from, not counting Web Comics.
I never had a Comic Store near me, that could be why. Unlike Video Games, I didn’ even bother to look into them….until I discovered Atop the 4th Wall. Things changed, and I became pretty knowledge like with Video Games.
Since then…I still haven’t read a ton of actual comics, but from what I’ve seen, I’m a fan of the medium. Like with animation, it’s a place where you do the craziest things and still be taken seriously, for the most part.
I really hope to get more into Comic Books, because what I’ve seen (that is actually good, anyway) I’ve quite liked. But of course, it took some of my favorite works being turned into Comics for me to actually pick up a few.
Which brings us to today’s topic. I rambled about Comics just to show my history with the medium, so you get my position. I am no Comic Critic, so in the following posts about the subject, I will be reviewing them the way I do any other story.
I’ll briefly comment on art, but since I don’t know much about that stuff, I won’t go too deep into it. So if you have any issues with my opinion, that could be why. I also went into this because I had no other way to introduce this thing.
I’ll be going into detail on other aspects once I dive into the real meat of this project. I will be reviewing every Comic under the My Little Pony Friendship is Magic line, as I’ve done everything else I can do with that property so far.
But I want to nicely segue into that, so I wanted to start small. So…yeah, let’s talk about Littlest Pet Shop. I did a big post about this 2012 series, so you can go there for detail. In short, it’s a solid show that managed to stand on it’s own despite it’s big equine sister looming over it.
The My Little Pony Comics have been a huge hit, so of course they had to do some for other Hasbro properties. Actually, the last few years have seen a boom of Cartoon Comics, from old classics like Darwking Duck to modern fare such as Adventure Time and Steven Universe.
MLP has just been another example of this, and with LPS being MLP’s Cousin, it only makes to give a comic series, which they did in 2014. This was a smaller endeavor than the MLP Series, as it’s just one series of only 5 issues, with an extra “Annual” in 2015. Primarily written by Gerogia Ball, with art by people like Nico Pena and the like,(I don’t know these names, I’m just saying this stuff because I kind of have to to give the staff credit) this series has been a decent enough hit to even get the annual by “popular demand”.
I didn’t have a ton of interest in the series until a certain cameo (which we’ll get to me) which convinced me to look into it more. And since I decided to review the MLP ones, I figured I would do the same for LPS.
Like I said, there are only about 6 or so issues, and they are smaller in scale than MLP, so they will be easy to review. Hell, I may not even say that much, I haven’t even read them as I’m writing this part.
Either way, it’ll be fun to take a peek and see how these comics fare on their own. Not much else to say. Let’s see if Blythe and pets can deliver good fun in the Comic world.
This, is A Look at the Littlest Pet Shop Comics
Before we begin, I’ll comment on the art in general. The style is fairly faithful to look of the show, and is pretty decent to my eyes. Nothing amazingly fancy, but neither was the show so it’s acceptable.
Although a few characters like Zoe can look a bit off at times, and Blythe just looks…off. I can’t put my finger on it, but she never looks right to me. Something about the way her head is drawn just looks odd, and it took awhile to get used to.
But that’s a nitpick, otherwise it generally looks presentable enough. Although it may change a bit depending on the issues, is this is just from skimming some of the issue 1. Without further ado, let’s get started.
(Oh, and SPOILERS in case you care)
#1: The Bracing Race/Pet Rocks
“People love to have opinions”-Blythe
Blythe takes the pets on a sort of Scavenger hunt when she sees they are getting a bit too lazy, with Russel and Penny staying at the shop to tell them/write the clues.
So this is our big debut issue,and it does set the stage for what to expect, it is a simple story that isn’t too crazy in terms of story or development. It’s….alright. Yeah, you can tell they had some restrictions here and couldn’t quite get too crazy yet.
An interview I heard confirms this, so at least I know it’ll get better. The basic idea is fun and done mostly fine. The pets split into teams and they have some fun with the quips they make at each other at the various locations.
But it doesn’t too crazy and plays it a bit safe, and the story is nothing too special. That itself is fine, but It could have been a bit better in some areas. Also, remember how I said Blythe looked kind of strange in this style? Here’s some proof:
…Her asking to play a game doesn’t help this at all.
This one is just silly. It’s a good “DURR’ face.
This last one is a two for one sale, as the Biskits would put it,. Creepy Blythe and even creepier Sue! …Okay, I’m just kidding around, I think at least two are these are supposed to be kind of creepy. It’s just an example of the strange art sometimes.
Going back to the actual writing, I can’t help but feel that Russel is just a bit out of character here.
“I’ll be the clue master! The mastermind working behind the scenes…the puppeteer pulling the strings…Dance Puppets, dance!”
…Yeah, I don’t recall him having control issues before, and it’s not even addressed again after this. It’s just weird. My other big problem is the ending. See, the prize is this box of Pet Treats, and Penny Ling gets stressed out having to do these clues by Russel’s demand.
Eventually she gets so stressed out she eats the whole box, causing Russel to put them on a wild goose chase so they don’t win and find out. But in the end they get back and find out.
Then it cuts to Penny Ling and Russel acting out infomercials (because they were watching them for “fun” earlier”), with Russel cutting onions I think, with Penny complaining that her “Tummy hurts”, likely due to eating those treats.
“Now THIS is Edutainment”.
…They barely explain this, so I can only assume they are being punished. Even though from their POV Russel was just helping a friend, and Penny was stressed out due to Russel being a jerk-ish person.
…Yeah, this is kind of awkward Russel doesn’t seem too troubled by this, but they seem to not care that Penny is in pain and got to this point for somewhat legitimate reasons. And all Blythe has to say is some snark comment?
Not the greatest way to end your first real story. It’s done in such a way that I think it’s not meant to be taken that seriously, but the way it’s done is a bit too harsh, especially for this series.
I think the problem is they don’t explain anything here. Is this punishment? Is Penny being punished or did just happen to be next to Russel while this is going on? I hope not, because she was shown crying while telling them what happened, and it would make this a million times worse.
A better explanation could smooth this out, but even then the fact that Russel almost deserves this is just…off to me. …Wow, I’m ranting more than I thought I would when I first saw this.
On the bright side, there are plenty of amusing moments throughout this thing. Like this guy who wants to tell Blythe about the “exciting world of rocks”.
Insert Maud Pie joke here.
Then there’s the Biskit’s obligatory cameo, because this was technically made in between Season 2 and 3. Apparently they will buy toothpicks if they happen to be on sale. Now that’s funny.
Also, I find it amusing that Sue makes an appearance in the Comics before Youngmee. Then we have the backup story, which is just a short 3 page deal. This has different arc that is closer to the show, but honestly doesn’t’ look quite as good.
It’s fine, but not the best, and Zoe looks weird. Blythe looks a bit better here at least. Some rocks are shipped to the shop, and the pets think they are pet rocks that are replacing them. Then Blythe comes in and reveals that they were ordered by Roger to use as a joke.
The end. How riveting. Okay, this is just a short story so it’s allowed to be simple, and it’s fairly amusing at least. Especially when Vinnie suggests that they kid rid of the rocks.
“Not like that!”
….You know, for kids?
Not much more to say about that. As a whole, this first issue is just okay. The idea is good and there are some funny moments, but Russel feels a bit off and the ending is poorly explained and a bit harsh.
Kind of disappointing honestly, but I have faith in the writers. I think the next ones will be better, since they said themselves that they were given more reign on those. Although I’m not sure it excuses messing up some of the characters.
Either way, this may not be the best debut issue but it’s not bad, and at least it had it’s moment. I’m not rating these, but I guess you could call this “Okay”. Let’s move on and see if it gets better.
#2: The Scratching Post/Ready, Aim, Achoo!
Okay, let’s get this out of the way:
Yeah, that happened. I mentioned this in an alternate universe before the guy I was pretending to be made a similar joke about it later. Yeah, that was strange.
This is kind of amazing when you think about it. For one, MLP is the one to make these kind of references, but instead the lesser known LPS does it in it’s comic series. It’s one thing to reference nerdy shows or something, but this is an internet reviewer who is popular, but isn’t exactly the AVGN in terms of popularity.
(That reminds me, I haven’t seen AT4W the move yet…)
And yes, they have confirmed that this is meant to be Linkara, it’s not a weird coincidence. I mean, he’s looking at Comics here, for pete’s sake. The Sonic cameo was big, but with how smaller this property is, this is insane.
…So yeah, it’s cool, but let’s look at the actual story.
The pets suspect a new store opening up is a competing shop, while Blythe gets wrapped up in a card game.
This one a better, and fairly decent, although nothing amazingly special in terms of plot. The plot is pretty predictable, as you know this isn’t a pet shop or anything. It turns out to be a coffee shop with a “quirky” theme.
Many jokes are made at the expense of hipster. Now that’s funny. Despite being named after it, the plot just kind of ends so that Blythe’s plot can become the “Climax” and ending. It should have been called “Battle Pets” since that plot is more important, and also more interesting.
I kind of wish it went further with Blythe’s obsession but they still do some amusing things with it. I imagined this being like that one All Grown Up episode (which would have been hilarious) but what we have is nice too.
Aside from the Linkara thing, they mention Katy Perry by name. It’s not a discont name like they usually do for some reason. The context is that one card will force you to sing Katy Perry songs, Blythe remarks that it might be a penalty
There are other amusing jokes, like Pepper suggesting they do a training montage. This was before the actual show made a training montage joke, but this one is funny too. The story of this one is nothing too special, but it’s a lot more straight forward and interesting for the most part.
I think I would like it more if the pet plot was better, though. It being predictable and not adding much kind of drags this issue down. It does at least lead to some amusing jokes with the pets conversations butting into Blythe’s imagine spots regarding the game.
Although the shtick with Blythe being too distracted in her plot to help the pets has been done before, and better.
There’s some nice satire about competitive card games, and as a whole it’s an enjoyable little story. Again, nothing amazing but it’s at least decent, and everyone is in character this tine. Also, first true comic appearance for Roger and Youngmee. While Roger doesn’t do much, Youngmee gets Blythe into the game and gets some funny moments, so that’s good.
The backing story is an fantasy sequence with the pets going up against something that turns out to be Russel sneezing, as the title implies. It’s cute, and takes advantage of the short format better,
There isn’t much else to say about this issue. The pet plot is kind of weak but the other side of the story makes up for with it pretty solid jokes, and an amazing cameo. I’m sure we have better stories coming up, but this one was at least decent and sold me a bit more on the whole comic thing better than the first issue.
Yeah, I told you these may not be too long, as there isn’t a ton to say for some of these. This one was decent and amusing, that’s all there is to it. Let us move on!
#3: No Value Added/A Fine Day for a Parade
Before I begin, I must mention that from this point forward, I will not be covering the backing stories like I did for the first two. Why? Well, I bought the collected versions of these comics off iTunes since it’s easier than buying them all separately, but the collection only contains the backing stories for the first two.
(I already had to buy Issue one on it’s own cuz the collection lacked it….for some reason)
I am not sinking more money than I have just to see 3 page stories, sorry. I will still list them to be complete. If I’m missing anything with those, you can let me know. But onto the real meat we have here.
Blythe is forced to work with the Biskits on a School Project, while the pets try to find Blythe’s notebook, and Sunil ends up trapped in a cage with a snake.
This one proved to be even better. The story is a lot more even with every part working together solidly, with plenty of things to enjoy. Maybe there aren’t as many great jokes in this one, but the rest makes up for it.
The bit with finding the notebook is kind of pointless, but that’s my only real problem here, It does lead to a great joke where they keep looking for it after Minka finds it.
They keep the energy up decently by going between 2 big plot are equally interesting and enjoyable, so things don’t slow down like in the previous issues. My enjoyment was a lot more consistent between the humor and the plot points going on. Sunil’s plot doesn’t exactly connect too much, but the Notebook plot causes it to happen at least, and it’s a nice break from the main story.
It’s always nice to a well done Biskit story where they not only funny but serve as interesting for this story instead of just being villains. In the end Blythe gets them to work on the project by just appealing to their interests. In this case she has their project focus on the fashion from the book the project is based on.
That’s clever and features a decent moral without exactly hammering it in. Reminds me of Testing, Testing, 1 2 3 to an extent. Also, the book is The Great Gatsby. I find that amusing….but I don’t know why.
Sunil’s plot is just a nice bit of him bonding with someone who can’t get out much due to being stuck in this cage, and it’s just an enjoyable little plot. There isn’t a whole to say about it other than that, it’s just fun and gives another okay guest pet. The first one of the comics, I think.
Speaking of comic debuts, Jasper. He does as much as he always does, moving on. I’m not gonna act like this story is amazing, it was just very even and amusing. The plots were all mostly solid and kept my interest with good jokes, and had a solid conclusion.
We’re starting to get a bit closer to what the comics can do. This is nothing huge compared to the show, but it’s a little something extra, mostly due to the Biskit plot. You can see them giving better with each issue, which is good.
As a whole, this one was pretty solid. Decently interesting plots with good humor and energy. Nothing crazy but solid. Yeah, even less to say because when something is solid for solid reasons, there isn’t much to analyze.
Hopefully we keep up this improvement for the 2nd half of the series.
#4: Zoe Come Home/A Rockin’ Fathers Day
Zoe tries to do a charitable act to land an audition for a TV show…but Madame Pom has the same idea. Meanwhile, the other pets deal with some pests that are accidentally delivered to the shop.
First off, yes we get some continuity with Madame Pom showing up, which is always nice. Anyway, not much to say about this one. It’s about as solid as the previous, although not quite as strong.
It still works due to good humor, but there’s too special about the plot. Typical Madame Pom stuff, but…i like typical Madame Pom stuff, so I didn’t care. It’s amusing enough, and has an okay conclusion.
It also has some satire on TV, especially with the conclusion which I won’t spoil in this case. The guy directing this says it’ll be the same kind of thing you grew up with, but ‘with more explosions”
Gee, who could they be making fun of here?
Speaking of subtle references, Blythe uses “Fandora”. In all seriousness-, I don’t mind references like this as long as they are subtle like this, or at least funny, and here they usually are.
Speaking of jokes, I think the pet plot is a bit better because it has plenty of decent jokes with the pets taking care of the pets. My favorite part is when Sunil and Pepper argue like an old married couple. That was amazing, even if it only gives the shippers more fuel.
This one, like most of the others, is far from ambitious but does a good job with the story it has, and has some fun jokes. The plot is fairly decent, even if the conflict is nothing too new, and gives some interesting ideas and moments.
It’s another pretty solid story. Not a whole more to it, really. Man, this post will end up being quick filler ….like it was meant to be. But yeah, pretty enjoyable issue once again.
Also, this was the only backing story I am disappointed to lose. A Roger story? Come on, that sounds amazing!
#5: Precious Village
Buttercream invites Blythe and the pets to play an online game with her, as Russel tries to prove he can be unpredictable.
Well, we’ve got an interesting comic debut right off the bat. Buttercream is always fun, and even in Comic form, she works. Although her running gag is a bit forced here. Anyway, this one was really enjoyable.
I’d say on par with Issue 3. It would be better, but the main meat with Russel is kind ofa rehash of Russel Up Some Fun. Russel is criticized for being boring, he tries to fix that, problems arise that require him to be himself, so he changes back.
It doesn’t help that they actually point this out. It’s nice continuity, and I love that Zoe says Fun Russel lasted 30 minutes (guess she counts commercials), but it’s still a bit of rehash. Everything else is good though.
Since there’s no backing story, they have more time to flesh it out and give us some fun stuff. Since we’re dealing with Buttercream in a video game, you can expect a lot of creative visuals and gags.
The art is different in the game and it looks good. Not sure how to critique it, but it works. This comic is just plain fun, and the plot moves along pretty nicely. It does some stuff we may not be able to do in the series, despite Russel’s rehashed deal, and gives us more creative fun stuff.
It takes advantage of the comic medium more than the others, and it’s a lot of fun. And while Russel’s deal is rehashed, it’s not too badly, even if that other one wrote it a bit better. The story thankfully it’s focused on enough for it to be a flaw, and the entertainment value makes it more than solid.
There isn’t much to really get from analysis compared to the others, it’s just meant to fun and it is, so it’s good.
It’s just another creative and solid story, and it makes for a pretty good one to end the first “Season” of the Comic Series proper. It would have been the flat out best if it weren’t the minor rehash, but it’s still very enjoyable.
Shortest review, but whatever. That ends of the main series but now for our last piece of business.
2015 Annual: Spring Cleaning
This one is split into a few stories, so let’s go through them. There are two big ones, and two small ones, so we’ll do the small ones first.
Whatever You Say, Sunil: Sunil seemingly makes Minka magically obey his every whim. It’s okay. Very short and predictable, but not bad since it has no time to do anything terrible. Pretty forgettable.
Exclusive Taste: Cashmere and Velvet visits LPS on their birthday to get something only sold at LPS that the Biskits would never get them. This one had me at page 1, because I dig Cashmere and Vevlet, and I don’t like how they have basically none nothing since they’re debut . They did more in one of the online shorts than in the show, so it’s great that they have spotlight.
It’s nothing to special, but it’s amusing and Francoise is always great. Although I wish it was a bigger story where the Biskits actually appear, since I do want more development with them that involves these two. Eh, what we have is fine. Now for the “big” stories.
The Old Switcheroo: Pepper stays at Penny’s Ling house for a few days. Similarity ensues. Oddly enough, the show did this kind of plot recently, making this story kind of pointless in hindsight. But for what it is, it’s done well despite being cliché. Pepper at least apologies in the end and isn’t that annoying.
There’s more nice continuity, as they say makeovers didn’t work for Pepper before. And we get a location we’ve never seen properly before. AND we learn Penny Ling’s owner’s last name!
There’s some standout jokes, like Penny dreaming this is a sitcom, complete with her screaming at the laugh track. That’s amazing. The minor Vinnie subplot was amusing too. This one pretty enjoyable all around, despite the cliché plot. And last but not last.
The Spring Break Beach Bummer: Blythe attends a beach fesitval thing, and makes new friends that may not be that nice after all. Okay, first I must mention that in one of the stories here, Blythe was waiting for a letter and here she gets. They have Arcs in the comics now, that’s amazing! Sorry, I just like that these shows are doing arcs, even if they are small. Anyway, the main story has Blythe finding out her new friends mock people that are different from then and she has to dump them.
It’s another really cliché story, and while it’s plenty enjoyable, the bits with this story are the weakest since it’s nothing new. Heck, the only people they mock are the Biskits who are…The Biskits.
Speaking of, I am disappointed Fisher never appeared in these comics. I want the saga of Fisher Jelly kl Hyde to continue!
The rest of the story makes up for that stuff though, since we have tons of good jokes…and Sugar Sprinkles shows up! This festival thing mainly features hipster type people, or people implied to be well…uh…let’s just stay this supports my headcanon that Sugar Sprinkles is a stoner.
We also have the pets forming a band after the beach-goers enjoy their animal sound singing….but they only enjoy it ironically. Damn hipsters. It leads to an imagine spot amazingly spoofing the band arguing stories, and thankfully doesn’t go through with this is a story.
The actual main plot is weak but everything else works, from the subplot, to the jokes. It’s a lot of fun. I’d tie with the other big story, although that has a better plot…so I guess it wins by default.
And that’s the big comeback issue and final one for now. This one is my favorite since it has two really enjoyable stories for the price of one, along with two small but fun ones. The plots are cliché in three of them but they are mostly done well enough.
As a whole, a fun collection and a good way to end the comic series for now.
And those were the LPS comics. Overall, these were mostly decent. Like the MLP comics, they serve as a good way to expand on things from the show and so some new things, while also sticking to what makes the series work to begin with,’
Although it’s clear it took a bit for them to be allowed to do crazier things, and they can use cliches sometimes. I don’t think I’d call any of these great, but most of them were good fun. They managed to keep up the humor of the show as well as the creativity, most of the time.
I hope they keep these going despite the show ending. There’s a lot of potential and I think they can keep the series alive and do things it might not have done by the end. I had fun reading these, even if they didn’t give me a lot to talk about it.
Given the nature of the show, it makes sense that the stories would be simpler. The only thing these are missing is a MLP plot done better, aside from that (and a song, for obvious reasons) that got most of the shows strengths down fairly well.
I’d recommend most of these. They aren’t anything amazing, but most of them are fun. Fans will enjoy them, and maybe some of them could get an outsider into the show. Although I would personally suggest some of the online shorts as a gateway into the show rather than these.
Either way, these weren’t quite as interesting as the MLP comics, they have their own charm and are mostly solid and fun. Even if the artists love to make Blythe as derpy as possible.
That’s pretty much all I got for this one. You may find these comics pretty easy online through the usual services. I’d suggest getting the volume collection thing since most of these are kind of short. There’s a 2nd Volume that has Spring Cleaning and the missing issue that should not have been missing to begin with, by the way.
If they have the other backing stories, I’ll kick myself.
This was just a quick filler thing to ride you over until I get some other projects back in the works. A broken laptop kind of set me back so I did something small while I get back in the groove.
My big look at the MLP comics shall be coming eventually, split into sections because there are just that many. Now that’s gonna be a big fun projects. Oh, and I may end up talking about LPS again before it ends, but you’ll see if I end up doing it.