Archie Sonic is probably dead

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Jingles
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Archie Sonic is probably dead

Post by Jingles »

Apparently, Archie hasn't been releasing any new Sonic comics recently, and what was thought to be a prolonged hiatus is quickly turning into the abrupt cancellation of the series. According to a fan on Stadium:
doctorbenMD wrote:Alright, I’ve been holding onto some information for a while until we got some more details and because I’ve been going through some personal stuff on my end. However, I had the pleasure of seeing my informant (and a few other informants who know what they’re talking about) during Free Comic Book Day yesterday, and I have some new information.
The book is definitely cancelled, and the reason why we haven’t heard anything yet is because Archie and Sega were trying to reach a deal together, and because–like I said many months ago–Archie is stalling because of the potential PR nightmare right now while it’s all hands-on-deck during Riverdale. My informant also mentioned that Jon Goldwater (the CEO of Archie Comics) has told him privately that eventually, they want to “get away from Sonic” because it’s “not really Archie,” despite how much of a money-maker it is. When I asked if, also, it was likely that Archie didn’t feel like fighting back for the license, he explained that (as stated above) Archie has had one foot out the door for a long time for a number of reasons (ie: low sales of Sonic recently, bad decisions on other books like Reggie and Me only selling ~4000 copies, the Fulop lawsuit). He also inferred that Sega apparently wanted more money to retain the license, giving more reasons for Archie to not re-up.
Finally, he said he knows how annoying it is that Archie has still not clued the fans in as to what’s going on (he no longer works for Archie and hasn’t for some time, but he’s spoken to people who currently do). So he obviously doesn’t know when it’ll happen.
Believe me, I’m not happy in relaying this information–this sucks. But I think we should’ve all seen this coming.
Of course, this all could just be nonsense - this really is just some guy on a forum - but what he says certainly lines up with Archie sales figures, in that the comic sales dropped steeply after a hiatus in 2016 (and that other failures have been leading the publisher to cut the fat).

I can't claim to be a fan of the Archie comic - I only ever read a few of the earliest issues - but if I were I guess I'd be pretty disappointed that such a long-running book ended without any sense of closure. Was that Mega Drive spinoff any good?

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Re: Archie Sonic is probably dead

Post by G.Silver »

I suspect (I've seen a lot of people suspect this) that Sega might just take the property somewhere else. I've read some stuff that indicates that a lot of the staff would be able to roll right over to a new publisher too, since many of them are freelancers in the first place, though I'd be personally more interested in seeing a fresh take. (Not like Sonic Boom gives me great confidence in fresh takes...) I don't have any real love for the comic either but it is sad to see it potentially disappear so abruptly. I think if they decided to just end it, not an ending necessarily, but something suitably exciting and climactic, with a few more issues to bring it up to 300, that would give fans something to be excited about and really leave it with a feeling of good will, instead of, y'know, the impression of cold business decisions.

*edit: Looks like they were doing something sort of like that maybe when it got interrupted, they were doing a series of issues based on all of the 16-bit games and then some kind of "what next" cap at 292, but they cancelled the S3K book.

I picked up the two released books of Mega Drive (I guess the third one was cancelled) and they really feel like an Archie Comics adaptation of a Sonic game that doesn't exist, for good or bad. The art is great of course, but I think the writing and excessive banter kinda undermines it, like they couldn't bare to have a panel without words in it, and it's a shame because Tyson Hesse's expressions and poses say so much on their own. I was incredibly intrigued when they released the art-only pages with no word balloons in them yet, but I my opinion really took a dive once the words were put in. When I found out it wouldn't resolve with book 2 and that the third book wouldn't be released until summer 2017 I was really irritated and thought I wouldn't be interested by then and would probably skip it, but now that it's been cancelled and I can't have it, I really want it!

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Re: Archie Sonic is probably dead

Post by Dr. BUGMAN »

Alas, poor Rotor! I new him well, Horatio!

*Ahem*

Anyways, yeah, I never understood the raging priapism the Sonic fanbase has for Ian Flynn. In addition to being prolix, I find his writing clunky and his sentimentality mawkish. Granted he has the virtue of knowing that, one, no-one gives a fuck about comic-exclusive characters and, two, no-one is buying these books for 1:1 adaptations of stories they already spent 60 bucks and 40 hours on (no-one sane at any rate).

I was only mildly surprised to learn he got his start writing Metroid Other M fanfic. Christ in a bumper car.

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Re: Archie Sonic is probably dead

Post by G.Silver »

I was only mildly surprised to learn he got his start writing Metroid Other M fanfic. Christ in a bumper car.
That's so awful I kind of wish it were true, but it isn't! His Other M series is unrelated to Metroid (I think it's "Other Mobius") and I think he's been writing fanfic in the Sonic fandom for a very long time. I don't think I ever read anything he wrote (I hated fanfic, ha ha) but I seem to remember seeing his name around a lot, back in the day. Also, his first Sonic issue was #160, in 2006, two years before Metroid Other M came out in 2008. Hard to believe he's been on the comic for 10 years!

Anyway I think that's pretty much the reason for his popularity on Archie, he's been a visible Sonic fan for so long that many people were familiar with him to one degree or another. And everyone seems to love those "fan turns pro" stories.

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Re: Archie Sonic is probably dead

Post by Wombatwarlord777 »

I don't know, I've found Ian to be more stale than outright bad in recent years, but I think a lot of that happens to be because it was decided to adapt Sonic Unleashed. As Sonic and da Gang moved onto each new continent, it seemed they'd always meet a new group of Freedom Fighters nobody cares about, beat a Dark Gaia monster or Egg Boss or something, get a Chaos Emerald, and leave. And this cycle repeated itself for years.

And personally, the reboot kind of tainted everything, not because it cleared out a lot of old material, but because it got rid of all the design diversity that's a part of what made Ian's run from #160 to the World's Collide arc so much fun. I can't remember if it was a mandate from SEGA or an independent decision to have everything redesigned to look like it could plausibly come from an official game, but now there's an increasingly-large number of oversaturated Sonic OCs running around in the comic and it just feels so same-y and bland.

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Re: Archie Sonic is probably dead

Post by Dr. BUGMAN »

I've said more than my piece on cohesive aesthetics in the comic, but what we've been given is kinda a monkey's paw of a response. But in fairness, they're essentially taking notes from Uekawa's funco pop-like operandi of using one base template and gluing details on and calling it a day. Sugoi~!

I really wonder if the criticisms Archie has received throughout this run is indicative of their incompetence or our fussiness. I mean, just look at the beloved Disney Duck comic; it's full of dog-people abominations that barely gel with Donald and Scrooge to say nothing of the rubberhose Mickey, and Scrooge himself tics all the hallmarks of what we'd label as a lazy OC. He's just Donald with muttonchops and spats! But everyone loves him anyway! It probably helps that Carl Barks is a story teller par excellence, and Ken Penders... isn't

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Re: Archie Sonic is probably dead

Post by Wombatwarlord777 »

Dr. BUGMAN wrote:I really wonder if the criticisms Archie has received throughout this run is indicative of their incompetence or our fussiness.
Recently? I'd definitely say our fussiness. I do take issue with Ken Penders in particular being a bad storyteller (or maybe that general collection of writers at the time, he's just the most prominent and visible one), but despite my earlier complaints of the Unleashed arc feeling repetitive, I do think the writing if the comic is generally competent these days, if a little underwhelming. And the feeling's generally the same for the art.
I mean, just look at the beloved Disney Duck comic; it's full of dog-people abominations that barely gel with Donald and Scrooge to say nothing of the rubberhose Mickey, and Scrooge himself tics all the hallmarks of what we'd label as a lazy OC. He's just Donald with muttonchops and spats! But everyone loves him anyway!
I guess there are more examples, but comparing Donald and Scrooge is kind of like comparing Sonic and Sally, imo. Scrooge and Sally are both main characters of their respective comics, so although they are original creations, of course you want them to gel with the main characters imported into the book. That's why I think the redesigned Sally looks a million times better than her old design.

But it's really stale when every. Single. Character resembles your main ones. The one that comes to mind is Akhalt the Orca Eggboss. Pre-reboot he's a realistic-looking orca with cybernetic doodads glued all over him. Post-reboot he's three heads tall with noodle arms. The former raised a lot of questions, sure, but it was still such a fun and different design that part of that discrepancy could be forgiven.

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Re: Archie Sonic is probably dead

Post by Dr. BUGMAN »

Well, yeah, you'll get no argument from me that Sally's redesign was a massive step in the right direction. I dislike lazy OCs as much as anyone, but for the sake of congruity I'll take it over the alternative. But look at what Archie did to Carrotia. She was practically carte blanche, and they went and made her Rouge with rabbit ears.

Why the Classic era feels so rich and timeless wasn't just out of strict congruity. Case in point, Vector is serpentine and lanky, but he's still made of solid colors and geometric shapes. Defenders of the Modern style accuse this of being inconsistent, whereas Uekawa finally established a unifying template style.

Not to bash Uekawa, though, Big is one of the more distinct characters bar none that was ever created for the brand... But he's not exactly appreciated by Modern fanboys is he? He's got talent and vision for sure; the entirety of Ristar is testament to that, yet here is stapling squids to Sonic's head and calling it a new character donut steel. The mind boggles.

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Re: Archie Sonic is probably dead

Post by G.Silver »

If Akhalt has gone from a sentient whale to an anthropomophic weirdo, what has happened to the Archie Sonic version of the Emerald Coast orca whale? Do both kinds exist?

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Re: Archie Sonic is probably dead

Post by Wombatwarlord777 »

G.Silver wrote:If Akhalt has gone from a sentient whale to an anthropomophic weirdo, what has happened to the Archie Sonic version of the Emerald Coast orca whale? Do both kinds exist?
Didn't you hear? That's the guy that's forced to drive the GUN truck, since he can't run Sonic over in the water anymore.

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Re: Archie Sonic is probably dead

Post by Dr. BUGMAN »

Wombatwarlord777 wrote:
G.Silver wrote:If Akhalt has gone from a sentient whale to an anthropomophic weirdo, what has happened to the Archie Sonic version of the Emerald Coast orca whale? Do both kinds exist?
Didn't you hear? That's the guy that's forced to drive the GUN truck, since he can't run Sonic over in the water anymore.
[cetacean needed]

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Re: Archie Sonic is probably dead

Post by Yami CJMErl »

Dr. BUGMAN wrote:
Wombatwarlord777 wrote:
G.Silver wrote:If Akhalt has gone from a sentient whale to an anthropomophic weirdo, what has happened to the Archie Sonic version of the Emerald Coast orca whale? Do both kinds exist?
Didn't you hear? That's the guy that's forced to drive the GUN truck, since he can't run Sonic over in the water anymore.
[cetacean needed]
dammit i laughed...WAY too hard at this

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Re: Archie Sonic is probably dead

Post by Jingles »

Just out of curiosity, how did Archie adapt the games? Were they, like, 1:1 translations, or did they use the general premise but replace the SegaSonic characters with their own?

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Re: Archie Sonic is probably dead

Post by Wombatwarlord777 »

Haha no.

Archie skewered it's Adventure 1 adaptation, mostly because 1) they didn't have good access to translated game materials and 2) they had to bend over backwards to make the continuity gel with their until-then convoluted world and backstories. So, Station Square is now a simulated coastal town that is actually hidden inside a volcano because the Station Squareianites are the descendents of survivors of a plane crash that occurred after extraterrestrials exploded a gene bomb on Earth after humans dissected one of said aliens and now all humans except those in Station Square are four-fingered and tend to be shitty assholes. That and Big the Cat was an outcast from a xenophobic Meso-American tribe of cats. That's about as good as my memory is about it.

It I recall, they did a preview of the first part of the Dark Story if Adventure 2, introducing Shadow, but not a full adaptation. Characters later act as if it happened anyways.

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Re: Archie Sonic is probably dead

Post by Dr. BUGMAN »

Or how about....

Chip meeting and befriending Knuckles and the Chaotix before Sonic!!!!!!!!!!!

This pisses me off so much, I -- an adult -- am going to rant and rave about it on internet forums ad nauseum.

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Re: Archie Sonic is probably dead

Post by Jingles »

Wombatwarlord777 wrote:So, Station Square is now a simulated coastal town that is actually hidden inside a volcano because the Station Squareianites are the descendents of survivors of a plane crash that occurred after extraterrestrials exploded a gene bomb on Earth after humans dissected one of said aliens and now all humans except those in Station Square are four-fingered and tend to be shitty assholes. That and Big the Cat was an outcast from a xenophobic Meso-American tribe of cats. That's about as good as my memory is about it.
OK, alright. One question: where do Sonic's green eyes fit in to this? Did they actually give an explanation (like the Fleetway comic did) for them?

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Re: Archie Sonic is probably dead

Post by Wombatwarlord777 »

Dr. BUGMAN wrote:Or how about....

Chip meeting and befriending Knuckles and the Chaotix before Sonic!!!!!!!!!!!

This pisses me off so much, I -- an adult -- am going to rant and rave about it on internet forums ad nauseum.
I kinda liked it. Chip and Knuckles had a pretty cute friendship, but yeah, it gets awkward once Chip becomes Sonic's biggest fan and Knuckles just kinda quietly fucks off into the background.
Jingles wrote: OK, alright. One question: where do Sonic's green eyes fit in to this? Did they actually give an explanation (like the Fleetway comic did) for them?
They do give them an explanation, which I don't remember offhand, but reading about it a bit, it looks like it occurred because Sonic deliberately got hit with a time-dilation beam that was going to fuck Mobius temporally, which caused Sonic to get his green eyes AND gave his shoes golden buckles.

As ridiculous as it was written, I do have to give Spaziante credit for depicting the change. His classic and Adventure Sonics do transition between each other design-wise relatively gracefully, which I can't really say for the official renders of the two at the time.

Speaking of Fleetway, their Adventure 1 adaptation was just as if not more bizarre. Somebody with more knowledge of it can correct me and fill in the details, but at the very least Chaos starts out as a member of a militaristic galactic empire of fish, and as Chaos proper he's a gleeful sociopath as opposed to an animalistic and ultimately sorrowful guardian.

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Re: Archie Sonic is probably dead

Post by Jingles »

Wombatwarlord777 wrote: Speaking of Fleetway, their Adventure 1 adaptation was just as if not more bizarre. Somebody with more knowledge of it can correct me and fill in the details, but at the very least Chaos starts out as a member of a militaristic galactic empire of fish, and as Chaos proper he's a gleeful sociopath as opposed to an animalistic and ultimately sorrowful guardian.
In Sonic the Comic Online, he becomes Big's comedy sidekick. Ha!

I actually thought Fleetway did a pretty good job of combining the SA1's most important plot point with the comic's own - I'd say it's the highlight of the series, at any rate. The Knuckle Tribe, Tikal, time travel, Robotnik (in his Modern garb!) and Chaos absorbing the seven emeralds are all there, albeit with the central villain being a snarky fish piloting a puddle who is defeated when Super Sonic sucks up all his goo.

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Re: Archie Sonic is probably dead

Post by big_smile »

I've never read any Sonic comic, but I'm curious. They seem to have explained how Sonic got green eyes. But did they come up with explanations for the other characters as well?

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Re: Archie Sonic is probably dead

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In Sonic the Comic, the only characters that actually get redesigned are Sonic, Amy, and Robotnik, the latter two of which simply change their clothes (no new eye colours or proportions or anything, and Robotnik still uses his AoSTH design). Tails and Knuckles don't change at all, and Amy wears a bomber jacket and trousers instead of a dress. The name "Eggman" is never used.

The characters in the Fleetway book were always drawn much taller and lankier anyways, so it's not like it would have been much of a change. Sonic the Comic Online sort of gives the characters more game-like appearances, but it depends on the artist and I don't really consider any of it canon anyways.

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Re: Archie Sonic is probably dead

Post by big_smile »

This article has extracts from the Fleetway Adventure adaptation. Before Sonic gets green eyes, Amy, Tails and Knuckles are shown with black eyes. But after Sonic's change, these characters have coloured eyes (although their eye colours are different from the games). Did the explain how their eyes changed? It just seems odd that they would give a reason for Sonic, but skip the rest.

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Re: Archie Sonic is probably dead

Post by Jingles »

I'd chalk the non-Sonic coloured irises up to artist inconsistency, which STC was rife with. They certainly never addressed it in any capacity in the story.

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Re: Archie Sonic is probably dead

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G.Silver wrote:Anyway I think that's pretty much the reason for his popularity on Archie, he's been a visible Sonic fan for so long that many people were familiar with him to one degree or another. And everyone seems to love those "fan turns pro" stories.
The other big factor is that the comic had become a complete train wreck by the early 2000s. Flynn scraped off all the barnacles and quickly got the series to a place where he could tell coherent stories that were more "on brand". Tracy Yardley (who joined the series alongside Flynn) did the same thing for the art, bringing the character designs and locales on model with the games. They made the comic something it hadn't been in many years - competent.

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Re: Archie Sonic is probably dead

Post by Dr. BUGMAN »

It's dead, Jim.

Hopefully this will lead to a hard reboot. Something economical, streamlined and focused on rollicking adventures. Something the comic should've been from the start.

Tabula rasa.

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Re: Archie Sonic is probably dead

Post by Brazillian Cara »

24 years. Wow. I knew it was a long runner, but knowing it lasted more than two decades really puts things into perspective.

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