Sunday, August 23, 2015

Why Sonic the Hedgehog?

Because Sonic is everything in comics I want to pass down to my kids.  And to think it all started as a 16-bit video game...

Sonic's early days go back to 1991. Nintendo was the top dog in the video game world, and their mascot, Mario, with his Super Mario franchise, helped put them there. Their main competition, Sega, was struggling to make an impact, and their spokes-toon, Alex Kidd was not making that big of an impression.  Sega developed a way to move a character along vector curves, and a blue hedgehog was chosen because it was easier to animate than a rabbit.  Sonic and his take-no-guff attitude was an instant hit, leading to sequels and media cross-promotion, including cartoons, toys, and comics.

It's interesting to note that as Sega has risen and fallen, then risen again with mobile platforms, the comic book tie-in, published by Archie Comics, has been the publisher's best-selling book on the stands. While most comics have steered towards more adult-oriented subject matter, Sonic has embraced its kid-friendly nature, and is the longest running tie-in series still being published.  His freedom-fighting sidekick Tails, his dark reflection Shadow, battling the evil Eggman, Dr. Robotnik, and crossovers with fellow blue video game hero Mega Man, have had kids thrilling to his adventures for almost 25 years.  My kids discovered Sonic a couple years ago, thanks to Android apps of his games, cartoon series on Netflix, and a very welcoming local comic shop.

So, to celebrate back-to-school, let's kick it old school. Put on your running shoes, fire up your games and your imaginations, and come up with something fast and funny. If you want to play at home, leave your script in the comments below.



  1. I am THRILLED by this week's pick! I was obsessed with these games growing up, and more than excited to try writing him.

  2. Okay, here we go:

    “The Chaos Tour”


    SPLASH: Do you remember those extra level scenes from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 where he would run through a roller-coaster like sequence to gather rings and eventually receive a Chaos Emerald? Well we’re going to start there, but this time we’re going to follow Sonic as he travels this inter-dimensional racing strip to various worlds of the Sonic games in pursuit of the Chaos emeralds. So, these pages are mostly going to be single page spreads of him running through the various worlds in various angles. It’s a real opportunity for you to spread your arms wide and show the vast expanse and rich textures of the games. This is what I'm talking about:
    On this first page, we’re going to open on SONIC running down the FIRST TRAIL and on all sides we can see a clouds and sun light and planes flying across the sky.
    LETTER NOTE: Captions should be blue to represent Sonic’s narration.

    CAPTION: You may not believe it, but I have to think pretty far ahead before I start running.

  3. I'd be interested to see how a full story of one-page splashes inspired by those Sonic 2 bonus levels would work out - whether the creative team could keep the visuals different and engaging considering how (relatively) simple the actual levels are. I think perhaps going with the digital "landscape" pages that seem so common might help the overall effort, but either way it would be neat to see.

    As to what you have here, I think you are relying a lot on your artist to populate the page with cool looking stuff (which, don't get me wrong, can be a solid strategy). That said, I LOVE your caption. It's so simple while saying so much. Reading that actually hooks me into the whole story from the get-go. Wish I could see more.

    1. I hear you, Grant, and thanks for that note. I'm very much a hand's off kind of person from work to creative life so I figure the more freedom given to people the more they'll go outside of the box and that's always a good learning experience.

      In fact, this was the first page of a five page short. We see Sonic running across various worlds and finally concluding on the Pacific-Coast Highway where he gets the last emerald and becomes Super Sonic. I really loved writing this character. He's one of my all-time favorites.


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If you want to play along at home, feel free to put your scripts under the Why? post for the week.