This story is told in the format of a children’s story, with Zecora as the narrator. It tells of how Rainbow Dash got up early with her pet Tank to head out to the bookstore and grab part two of “Daring Do and the Treasure of Saddle Mare”, yet on the way out she flies right into a wall made of “brick clouds” and hurts herself, causing her to fly into a bad mood and vent her anger on the construction worker Plumb Bob. This, in turn, causes Plumb Bob to go into a bad mood and vent on somepony else, who does the same to another, and another after that, and so on…behavior that Zecora personifies as passing along the “Drearies”. On going into Ponyville Dash sees there’s already a huge line for the new book, causing her to unload more of her bad mood on her friends for not getting there sooner and getting them into bad moods as well, which in turn “pass the Drearies” onto everypony. Soon everyone is in a horrible mood, causing Zecora to break the fourth wall and intervene by shoving Tank out to Dash to try and get her to cheer up. Yet on running into her, she vents her fury on the tortoise, causing him to break down and cry. Realizing at last what she’s been doing, Dash apologizes to Tank and breaks out of her bad mood. She soon apologizes to the rest of the Mane Six, setting off a new chain reaction that causes everypony to apologize to everypony else and end the bad moods. At the end of the story, Zecora cautions her audience to always be nice to others even if you don’t feel like it, as it’s not their fault you’re upset and it will only “pass along the Drearies”. Unfortunately, at the end, Plumb Bob is still angry.
Now this is a cute little arc, and with a nice little story.
This is one lesson that I feel fits in perfectly with the show, but it can only be “presented” well on paper, which makes the IDW Comic a perfect fit for it. Being able to tell the story in a child’s storybook motif is the best way to sell this kind of plot, which would be a bit awkward to do on the show proper, and it got nailed perfectly with the amazing and inventive artwork in this issue. Lots of allusions to other famous children’s books makes this issue both heartwarming and cute to the reader.
The lesson here is simplistic but applies to adults as well as children. Moods are infectious; whether they be good moods or bad moods. You can only go around taking out your bad attitude on other people so long before they get the same bad attitude you have, whereas if you’re nice and considerate to others 99 times out of 100 they’ll be nice and considerate right back to you–more so than they would have been normally. Besides that, it’s not fair to others to take out your feelings on them. They could have done it on the show, but…like I said, they would have had to go for something completely different in presentation. This interesting little way of telling it as a story within a story only could only be accomplished here, and that gives it some points in my favor for finding a unique way to have the IDW Comic enhance the MLP mythos besides just giving it a higher rating.
The one point that I can imagine people would hold against it was how Rainbow Dash was the main instigator and perpetrator of everything that happened. Some might think it makes her a jerk. As for me, well…I’ve unfortunately been in Rainbow Dash’s position before and I’m not terribly proud of myself for it. It doesn’t excuse her behavior at all, and I’m not trying to do that. I’m just saying I sort of understand where she’s coming from. And the lesson rings true for me as well as her.
So all in all, as far as the one issue stories go, I think this is easily one of the best.
This entire comic is framed like a children’s story. The first page is a signature page, such as in the old “Little Golden Book” series. Being told in rhyme is an allusion to old Dr. Seuss stories. The title itself is a reference to “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”
As the story is told in rhyme, Zecora is the narrator. 😛 However the characters in the story speak normally.
Every page of the comic is drawn in a different style, but Andy Price is the sole artist.
The panel with the bubble with “Patient Zero” includes Zecora and Tank emulating Charlie Brown and Linus from “Peanuts”, by Charles Schulz. As a result, he gets a credit on the panel.
When Rainbow Dash blows up at the sight of the line, Tank holds up an index card with the definition for “Enrage”, saying the definition is Rainbow Dash herself. 🙂
The bookstore is named “The Noble Barn”…a parody of “Barnes & Noble” bookstores.
Among new “horse named towns”, San Franciscolt, Chicoltgo, New Horseleans, and Horsolulu.
Shining Armor still RPs “Ogres & Oubliettes”.
Pinkie Pie wipes Tank’s tears with Rarity’s mane.
Maud Pie cameos in a panel. She named a rock: “Unless”. This is an allusion to “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss.
In the big panel near the end, the Blues Brothers ponies from the very first issue make a return appearance, as does “Tom” from the Season Two premiere (XD), Flax Seed and Wheat Grass, Luna’s opposum, and the mysterious “Fedora Pony”. At the very bottom of the page, in the background, are the Marx Bros. ponies.
Zecora trips on the rhymes from time to time, at which point Spike interjects. To accent the problem, her own unique Daring Do book at the end is “Daring Do and the Lost Word that Rhymes with Orange”. 😛
The last text box in the story is an allusion to the cliffhangers of the old Batman TV series, complete with the infamous: “What’s this?!”
4 Stars out of 5