Pop Culture

Comicpalooza: Here Come the Bronies

Since the Daughter With One F turned three, I figure I've watched approximately infinity hours of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. While I'm pretty sure I would never sit through another episode that I wasn't being forced to by my little Rainbow Dash fan, I can freely admit it's not a bad show at all. Lauren Faust is a brilliant creator, the art is excellent and the writing is surprisingly good.

Along with the intended demographic of my daughter and her father with an incredibly low threshold for entertainment, another kind of fan has arisen to declare his love for My Little Pony -- the grown men who call themselves Bronies.

Now let's be clear, I am not here to make fun of Bronies. I swore an oath to never again do so after I found out how much they piss off neo-Nazis. I spent ten years wearing women's underwear onstage and another five singing a song about how awesome David Arquette is. I have no room to judge anyone.

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The Houston Brony Society will be set up at Comicpalooza this weekend to open up the world of their community and My Little Pony in general to Houstonians and visitors. The founder of the society, Jonathan Dean, will be hosting forums such as "What Is a Brony?" "The Philosophical and Sociological Aspects of My Little Pony"and "You Don't Know Applejack." They'll play Pony Jeopardy, sing Pony Karaoke, teach you to draw ponies, screen episodes and invite you into the rapidly growing herd that is the Houston society.

"I honestly have never seen a more supportive group," said Dean via e-mail. "We have had people asking for help on the page. Everyone will pitch in, offer advice and help out. If a Brony needs a ride, people will drive an hour out of the way just to pick them up. The things I've seen here give me hope for humanity."

The Brony community gets the stink-eye from the rest of the world sometimes, and it's not just because it's primarily adult men obsessed with a cartoon meant for little girls. The Internet has unleashed a wave of bizarre and frankly disturbing My Little Pony fandom that boggles the mind with its sheer craziness.

I don't just mean the tetrabytes of five-volume fan fiction set in the harsh video game world of the Fallout series using My Little Pony characters that is more than 100,000 words longer than your average Bible full of graphic gore, rape and war. There's a name for these grim versions of the otherwise magical realm of Equestria; gluefic. Is that not the creepiest term you have ever heard?

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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner