Today we have Gavalanche. Known for making comics that aren't afraid to go places other artists would never tread. Because of this I will put a disclaimer that some of the following art is not for everybody, so be prepared.
1.When/how did you discover MLP:FIM?
-I was lucky enough to get the Hub when it first aired last year. I started watching it because of the Fraggle Rock reruns that I used to watch as a kid (I'm old), and saw the commercials for MLP:FIM. At first I was all like, "That's a really weird way to draw a pig!" as I didn't then, nor do I now, think they look anything like ponies. I was kind of disgusted by the fact that THEY were trying to bring back the MLP franchise as I remember the first generation MLP when I was a tottler and how disgusted most people who weren't 4 year old girls with horse fetishes were at the time. That and 20 years of pseudo-failure that really emphasizes the whole "Why bother" factor. It wasn't until last January that finally enough exposure to MLP:FIM from multiple media sources enticed me to check it out. The first episode I watched was Griffon the Brush-off, which I didn't care much for, but I liked it enough to watched Boast Busters. When Trixie said "neigh-sayers" with a slight whinny in her voice I nearly crapped myself, watched the rest of the episodes, then found the nearest McDonalds to see if they had any Rainbow Dashes left (they had no MLP:FIM figures at all).
2.Who is your favorite main cast character and why?
-I think right now it's a tie between Rainbow Dash and Rarity. I'm very athletic and competitive and a pilot in real life, so Rainbow Dash is a natural fit for me. I was a little surprised when I found out the entire fandom basically accepted her being a lesbian as fact, but I figure more power to her. I have no problem with GLBT community so long as they don't push their sexuality in my face anymore than I push mine into theirs (no innuendos intended), and honestly I think Dash would be the kind of lesbian most guys would want as a "guy friend". I really like Rarity too though. At first I didn't really get the purpose of her character, as she didn't contribute much to the show in the first couple of episodes, but Suited For Success really won me over. The episode was very well written, and I loved her dress making (I make my own clothes on occassion). She really showed depth from their out, and I love her accent (I hope the voice actress doesn't read this and get creeped out)!
(break in interview- Dude, if your worried about being creepy then join the club.)
This makes more sense than what happened in the actual episode.
3.Who is your favorite background character( this is anyone other than the main 6. ie not Twilight, Fluttershy...)?
-I would hardly consider Sweetie Belle a background character, but she's my favorite in the whole show. Stare Master is my all time favorite episode because of her. Every time "the creature" (Scootaloo and Applebloom) approach Sweetie Belle and Sweetie has to stop and think for a second I bust up laughing. That blink with the weird little sound effect is just too funny. I know my artwork is kind of hard on her, but that's just because she's the one who interest me the most. I've thrown away a lot of other comics that I never finished featuring other characters just because they start to bore me too much.
4.Who would you follow Celestia or Luna?
-Astronomy is my passion, so I guess Luna. I'm seriously concerned about her lack of current leadership experience though, and then there's her past.... I guess she'd make a fine figure head of state, with me as her royal consort, but she should leave the buisness of state to the Sejm.
5.What would you tell someone who hasn't watched the show?
-It's hard to say. I'm only open about my love for MLP:FIM on the net. As far as I know no one around me in real life knows about my pony habit. But if I were at little tipsy at a party and someone mentioned the ponies I'm sure the phrase, "Those ponies are the SHIT!" would blast across my lips.
Gavalanche's art is shit! Get it, because he drew...yeah bad jokes are bad jokes. I'll be quiet now.
6.What are your influences?
-Art wise I learned to draw from my family and people around me. Mostly imitating them. In junior high I went through the "Anime phase" (it was called Japanime back then (I'm old)). I still kind of do that although I don't like it anymore and want to draw a little more grittier. My biggest influence art wise though is probably Don Bluth. I spent the better part of the last half dozen years developing little cute rodent characters trying desperately to develop original stories for them. The character were pretty good but the stories were either depressing or too cliche'. I think if you look at my art now you can see this as my ponies tend to sit on their haunches and have pot bellies and chubby cheeks like you would see on a cartoon mouse or squirrel (in the Don Bluth style anyways). Story wise I think Ralph Bakshi is a big influence. Not that I try to make stories like his, but he definitely didn't give a care about what kind of random and taboo things he put into his films. That and a lot of rotoscoping. Most of my story element come from real life. Unfortunately most of the grim and dark elements come from true life crimes or sick elements of our history (lobotomies without patient or family consent, or actual skin bleaching products). Some of the goofier things come from personal experience, like little kids showing off in embarrassing ways in front of important guest. Then every once in a while I just take a story and pony it up, like Saga of the Metabarons turning into the Saga of the Metapony.
7.If you had one quote (from anything) that has really had an impact on you/ just a saying you really liked, what would it be?
-I'm not really a quote person. I find quotes tend to be over used and almost always without context or any intended meaning. "Oh boy, I just started a facebook account! Here's something Earnest Hemingway said." I do have a lot of axioms that I tend to live by and like to through in people's faces when they screw up, but none I can think of that really stand out right now.
8.What is the best pony site you know?(Hint Hint, remember your doing this thing for Obsession Is Magic, but I do encourage you to be truthful.)
-Haha, Uh... Probably Deviant Art. I know it's not really a pony site but it's about the only place I feel safe. I really don't spend much time at other sites. Usually I wait a day or two after I post a pic then search the sites to see if the artwork has showed up there and see what people had to say. A lot of the sites seem to attract weird personalities and people with attitude problems, or don't update enough, or update too much, or have no community whatsoever. I hate to discourage creativity but these "ask pony" sites are really a dime-a-dozen anymore. Some sites have out of control role playing which kind of ... well... I don't like it. The image board sites (including 4-chan) seem nice, but some update too fast, others too slow, and honestly I don't know how to use them (I'm not actually that great on computers). I like Deviant Art because I think it gives people the best option to either look at my art or not. I understand a lot of people don't like my sense of humor, and I strongly encourage them to ignore my stuff and pay no attention to me. They know Sweetie doesn't turn into a poop fueled rocket, so what does anything I post matter?
(Break in interview- If you read between the lines he is actually saying "Obsession Is Magic is the best pony site period." Or at least that's what I got out of it.)
-Hmmm..... Like I said, I keep my pony love under wraps in real life, so I don't want to really reveal anything more than I already did that a clever person could use to link me to Gavalanche. I guess my last thought would be I'd love to see "Gavalanche" on the credits in season three. If any of the producers are reading this send me a note on my DA account.
(Break in interview- Haha. Like anybody actually reads this blog. You've just made my day.)
And there you have it. Gavalanche, an artist that goes against the grain in the pony world, not afraid of the critiques who would persecute him for his work. Gavalanche keep on making your awesome art!