Jump to content
IGNORED

Does anyone remember sonic the comic?


Leneux
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'd guess it was the sonic/genesis advert comic things inserted into DC comics back in 1990 with Dr. Kintobor (yeah, I know), an emerald. a treadmill and some other crazy shit, that'll always be the Secret Origins file for me.

Ovi Kintobor, to be precise! :rolleyes:

You know, back when Sonic wasn't supposed to be set on Earth. When it made SOME SEMBLENCE OF SENSE.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ovi Kintobor, to be precise! <_<

You know, back when Sonic wasn't supposed to be set on Earth. When it made SOME SEMBLENCE OF SENSE.

Amen to that.

I had the book "Stay Sonic", which chronicled the origin story. It was simple, pleasant and a little bit funny, and it even had some tips for Sonic 2 (MD and MS versions).

_stay.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 years later...

A few months back, I 'acquired' a complete set of scans of these comics. I've been reading them on and off since then (the joy of smartphones with big screens!) and I've just finished the last issue yesterday.

It certainly brought back some memories! I must have collected around a hundred issues originally (still got them somewhere) and reading these stories again was like going back in time to being a Sonic-obsessed teenager. Weird, but fond.

And it occurs to me just how much of an influence this comic, and in particular the art of Richard Elson and writing of Nigel Kitching, had on my developing a love for drawing (expression of motion, in particular), and of fantastical stories of robot uprisings, parallel dimensions, demonic alter egos and many more. Stories that apparently pressed the right buttons with me, it would seem, up to the point where I eventually had to stop buying the comic as I couldn't find it anymore.

In hindsight, you only remember the good bits. The origin story*, Robotnik's rule of the planet, Sonic's shift into a demonic Super Sonic, the many Knuckles stories on the floating island, the launch of the Death Egg, the Metal Sonic (Metallix) project on the Miracle Planet, the introduction of the Drakon empire, and so on. Nigel Kitching had a desire to tell bigger stories, but was often constrained by the Editor's perception that the comic was only read by children (maybe it was, I don't know!) who wouldn't understand anything more complex. What I'd forgotten was the secondary stories, usually written by the other main writer Lew Stringer, often involving other characters in one-off stories. To be honest, a lot of these were terrible. He did introduce some of the better new characters (Shortfuse the Cybernik and Commander Brutus were both his creations, I believe) but more often than not, his stories involved some petty criminal and some quickly-wrapped up plot to stop them, usually throwing in some animal puns, British pop cultural reference from the nineties, and culminating with the main character winking at the reader to some bad pun of a closing line. They were forgettable, and as the comic went on, there were more and more of these strips to fill the pages, as the non-Sonic Sega characters disappeared. It didn't help that these stories were often drawn by artists with a less appealing style. Admittedly, I grew to like the art of Bob Corona (he started with Tails stories but eventually became a full time artist for Amy and Tekno's stories, which went on for an enduringly long time; I didn't really like these but I read them anyway), but Mick McMahon's art was kind of ugly and became very prevalent. He even drew a lot of the covers in the later years, before Richard Elson came back and finished the last run of issues. (I don't want to be too critical of a specific artist, but personally I didn't think his style of drawing Sonic and chums was appealing. I'm sure he's otherwise very talented.)

So, yeah, it had its ups and downs, and it was kinda lame in places. The "cool dude" vibe of the editorial style has aged as badly as most stuff from the nineties has now ("Megadroid" was lovable enough, but then they axed him to save space - budget cuts?) but those long-running main storylines became genuinely good.

Basically, when Nigel Kitching wrote and Richard Elson drew (they apparently collaborated a lot when developing the stories), something good almost always came out of it. Although a long-running plot had to be cut short when the comic was stripped down to one new story per issue and Lew Stringer had to wrap it up (not badly done, but not what Kitching had envisioned), Kitching was brought back to work on one last strip, a tie-in story for Sonic Adventure. I'd missed these originally, as I'd stopped getting the comic by then, but it's probably some of his best work. The ten-part story featured the death of one of the freedom fighters (an actual real death, imagine that!), the Chaos creature from the game worked into the Drakon storyline, a time-travel plot that also explained Knuckles, the echidnas and the history of the Chaos Emeralds... and even went to explain why Sonic had green eyes from Sonic Adventure onwards. And it tied up the Super Sonic arc satisfactorily.

And then... it just ended. From then on, Elson drew new covers (his digital art had gotten really good by then), but all the stories were reprints. It's a shame, and I don't really know what happened (I guess it wasn't cost-effective to continue anymore). I've enjoyed reading about the artists and writers, how they were proud of their work, how they enjoyed talking to the fans at conventions about which stories they were enjoying the most, and so on. I don't know if they're still around on social networking sites or what they're up to these days, but I'll send out a belated "thanks for the memories" in their general direction. Your work was appreciated. Well done!

*Reading up about this, the Kintobor origin story comes from the "Sonic Bible" which was developed by Sega of America and went through some changes over the years, until it was used as the basis for the "Stay Sonic" book (above, my link! Hello, four-years-ago-me, how ya doing there?). The Stay Sonic book was then used as the basis for the UK series of novels (there were at least four; pretty sure I have two of them!) and for the UK Sonic The Comic. So it wasn't entirely STC's creation, but this story has effectively been retconned now, since the games have to take precedence when they contradict each other.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I'd forgotten was the secondary stories, usually written by the other main writer Lew Stringer, often involving other characters in one-off stories. To be honest, a lot of these were terrible. He did introduce some of the better new characters (Shortfuse the Cybernik and Commander Brutus were both his creations, I believe) but more often than not, his stories involved some petty criminal and some quickly-wrapped up plot to stop them, usually throwing in some animal puns, British pop cultural reference from the nineties, and culminating with the main character winking at the reader to some bad pun of a closing line. They were forgettable, and as the comic went on, there were more and more of these strips to fill the pages, as the non-Sonic Sega characters disappeared. It didn't help that these stories were often drawn by artists with a less appealing style. Admittedly, I grew to like the art of Bob Corona (he started with Tails stories but eventually became a full time artist for Amy and Tekno's stories, which went on for an enduringly long time; I didn't really like these but I read them anyway),

Yeah, when I was reading STC, Stringer's approach of one-off villains and punning Zone names was quite far from what I wanted from the comic. If I'd had my way at the age of 9, the whole comic would've been made up of Elson/Kitching multi-part EPICS!!! that were closely tied into the games!

Lew Stringer recently posted on his blog some sample Sonic images he drew when the comic first started, before the editor decided that he would only be writing for the comic:

http://lewstringer.b...-until-now.html

I like them. I can't help but feel that if he'd been the artist on his own stories, people would look on his strips more favourably, as they'd be seen in the context of the tradition of humour comics like the Beano and Buster, rather than feeling out of place in a 2000AD-esque five-page adventure story anthology.

Fortunately Rob Corona's a great cartoonist, so no matter how silly Stringer's strips got, when he was illustrating them they were always lovely to look at!

but Mick McMahon's art was kind of ugly and became very prevalent. He even drew a lot of the covers in the later years, before Richard Elson came back and finished the last run of issues. (I don't want to be too critical of a specific artist, but personally I didn't think his style of drawing Sonic and chums was appealing. I'm sure he's otherwise very talented.)

Yes, his 2000AD work is extremely well-regarded. I haven't seen much of his work outside of STC, but what have seen (some Judge Dredd, some recent Tank Girl, a contribution to Batman: Black and White) really is great.

The Decap Attack strips he did in STC were also really good (though I preferred Nigel Kitching's) - it was just that he wasn't at all suited to drawing Sonic!

Back in the days of the the STC Mailing List, whenever anyone said anything negative about McMahon's artwork, Nigel Kitching kept asserting that both he and Richard Elson think he's a much better artist than either of them!

He's got a blog - these are his only STC posts so far:

http://tuggingyourco...c-the-hedgehog/

http://tuggingyourco...-and-final-art/

And then... it just ended. From then on, Elson drew new covers (his digital art had gotten really good by then), but all the stories were reprints. It's a shame, and I don't really know what happened (I guess it wasn't cost-effective to continue anymore).

As far as I know, Egmont Fleetway's editorial policy was that STC was a kiddie comic, and therefore even its longest-running readers wouldn't keep reading it for more than five years. They didn't realise that the comic's best material appealed to older age group too (or looked at a different way: that Sonic fans would grow up to become a bunch of very strange man-children who'll stick reading with a funny animal character long after they really should ;)).

I don't know if they're still around on social networking sites or what they're up to these days

Nigel Dobbyn has a Deviantart page, although I find the computer-inked and -coloured stuff he does now to be less interesting and unique than the paintings he did on STC.

He and Nigel Kitching recently contributed one page of Decap Attack artwork to the STC Online fan continuation:

http://www.stconline.../comic_4_1.html

And Richard Elson took some time off from drawing Thor comics (with our very own Kieron Gillen!) to do the cover to another issue:

http://www.stconline.../256/cover.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the links. :)

I must agree on Nigel Dobbyn's art. His painted colours were what made his strips so appealing. He even coloured for other artists for a while, and you could always tell it was him. Lovely hazy blue backgrounds and stuff. He did pretty much all the Knuckles strips once he got his own stories.

Lew Stringer's Sonic drawings look very familiar in their style. I was sure he must have drawn a strip or two over the course of the comic, but apparently not!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fun fact: Marvel superstar Mark Millar wrote the Streets of Rage strip in STC.

So that's why it sucked! ;)

I must get my hands on these, actually, especially following Sprite Machine's complete revisit. I really loved the comic when I was younger, more for the side comics (Shinobi, Decap Attack, Eternal Warriors) and games features than for the core Sonic stories, if I'm entirely honest. I'd be curious to see how they hold up now (and to see who drew and wrote what).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 years later...

I've been intending to bump this topic for a few weeks now, because I've recently been listening to Sonic the Comic the Podcast by Dave Bulmer (of numerous assorted internet things) and Chris McFeely (of mostly Transformers-related internet things).

 

The format is an issue by issue retrospective of the comic - but it might be of interest even if you weren't a reader of it, because in addition to the Sonic-specific stuff, there's a lot of more wide-ranging discussion about what it was like being a kid growing up in the UK with games and comics in the early 90s.

 

I really identify with a lot of what they say about how we perceived games at that age, getting only snippets of gaming news from magazines, Gamesmaster/Bad Influence, and maybe from friends who'd gone on holiday to America! And it was around that time when there were lots of exciting things going on with new Sega hardware and the big jump in console 3D graphics... it's all very enthusiastic and nostalgic!

 

They talk about how the comic fit into the UK comics landscape at the time (and the other credits of the writers and artists - including Mark Millar), and discuss the games in each issue's sales charts, reviews, and comic strip adaptations. Their discussion of the craft and artistry of the comic strips is good, as Bulmer is a cartoonist - as is his wife Abby, who turned up as a guest on the episode about issue #7 to talk about Richard Elson's debut on the comic.

 

 

 

 

 

Linking to that podcast is why I've been meaning to bump this thread. Unfortunately the thing that actually prompted me to bump it today is the news that the artist Nigel Dobbyn (mentioned by me and @Sprite Machine a couple of posts up) has died, aged only 56. :(

 

He also worked on 2000AD - their obituary is here: https://2000ad.com/post/5774

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nigel Dobbyn coloured Richard Elson's pencils on what might be my favourite ever Sonic-related picture...

 

hHHrXhv.jpg

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In lighter albeit bittersweet news of sorts that I too wanted to inform as many people of: Sonic The Comic Online recently celebrated 25 years as a whole of STC with a story by Kitching as a 'this is the final story' sort of story, if that makes sense. The comic is of course continuing, but it's a nice bookend for the fans. Definitely worth the read.

 

http://www.stconline.co.uk/comics/exitsonic/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is so weird. I was up my moms loft yesterday sorting the Ariel out and moved a box out of the way full to the brim of Sonic the Comic. I started collecting at #4 (the Shinobi cover) and stopped at #100. I got a picture printed in issue 54 and won a load of stationary my mom had to chase up for ages. Such good memories :)

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 31/08/2019 at 21:40, Nick R said:

Linking to that podcast is why I've been meaning to bump this thread. Unfortunately the thing that actually prompted me to bump it today is the news that the artist Nigel Dobbyn (mentioned by me and @Sprite Machine a couple of posts up) has died, aged only 56. :(

Aw man, that's no age to go. :(

I only knew his work from STC but he was one of the best artists working there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Richard Elson recently sold all 7 pages (plus lettering transparencies) of his art for Sonic the Comic #8 on eBay. One person spent nearly $4200 to buy them all:

https://www.sonicstadium.org/2019/10/original-sonic-the-comic-artwork-from-the-origin-of-sonic-sells-at-auction/

 

This was by far the most expensive individual page: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sonic-The-Hedgehog-Original-Full-Colour-Comic-Art-Sonic-The-Comic-8-page-4-/174071203479

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.