STCp1Twenty years ago, many veteran fans amongst the community will probably remember racing to their local newsagents in order to grab the first issue of Sonic the Comic for the paltry price of 95 pence, and thumbing excitedly through the first pages of Sonic and SEGA-themed strips. In the many years that followed, fans saw the publication of 223 issues, 9 poster magazines and several special one-offs across nearly a decade of production.

The comic was renowned for its well-pitched storylines that appealed to both the younger and older audiences, for expanding the Sonic universe beyond the canon of the game and introducing several original characters; some of whom suffered a grisly demise (poor old Johnny Lightfoot!). For the majority of issues, the comic was presented by Megadroid, a robot reminiscent of a SEGA Megadrive (and later a SEGA Saturn), who took to naming the readers “Boomers” (and the writers “Humes” – short for “Humans”). As well as the Sonic-themed strips, the comic included a whole host of stories from SEGA titles such as Golden Axe, Decap Attack and Streets of Rage, as well as features and reviews on games, as well as fan art and mail; many fan-works featured were created by many of those who have remained fans to this day! Indeed, the publication garnered many fans, and some of you reading this today will probably owe STC as your introduction to the world of Sonic the Hedgehog.

BIGCOVERShortly after the demise of the printed issues in 2002, the comic was revived by fans in the form of Sonic the Comic Online, an online comic with bi-monthly issues produced by community artists and the occasional cameo from an original STC artist. Fans have also been lucky enough to meet some of the talent behind the comic such as Nigel Dobbyn and Nigel Kitching at the Summer of Sonic conventions at which they have been greeted by the many members of the large cult following of the comic that exists to this day.

STCO is now entering its tenth year, and to commemorate the passing of two decades and two comic incarnations, STCO are celebrating in style (and not just with a packet of chewits!). A special Anniversary section of the site has been launched containing a whole host of past STCO artwork, a timeline for those new to the comic, fan memories, as well as a selection of memories from STC alumni such as Carl Flint, Ferran Rodriguez and Roberto Corona.

We caught up with STCO Editor Stiv, who had this to say:

Being here, twenty years since STC started, feels amazing. I was a fan of STC from the start and working on the “unofficially official” continuation has been a great experience.

The whole of the STC Online team is so happy to be able to keep providing people with stories from the STC universe.  A lot of readers have commented very kindly on how they’ve loved our work and how they feel we’ve stayed faithful to the print comic over the last ten years, we’re just glad people are enjoying it!

We’ve have a great team the whole time, some of whom have since gone into professional work, and we’ve had new staff join us recently. That’s one of the great things, regeneration. The vast majority of the STC Online staff were inspired to write and draw by the original STC, now we’re inspiring a new generation to go back and read it, then they’re wanting to use their skills to help us tell new stories.  Because of this, I can’t see any reasons we’d ever need to stop.  And we definitely don’t want to!

We hope you will all join us in wishing happy birthday to Sonic the Comic!

We would love to hear all of your memories of STC – whether it be the first issue you bought, your favourite issue or writer or artist, or just some happy times reading strips – let us know in the comments!

About T-Bird

T-Bird, the seasoned TSS writer has interests in the music and merchandise of the Sonic the Hedgehog universe. T-Bird is involved in community relations with SEGA and is the stage manager for the Summer of Sonic convention.
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33 Responses to 20 Years of Sonic the Comic

  1. Ah, Sonic the Comic, the only Sonic adaptation from the 90’s that didn’t suck. It puts Archie’s comics and all of Dic’s cartoons to shame. The people at Fleetway were the only ones that actually tried to produce a Sonic adaptation (ie: the characters looked more or less like they did in the video games and their roles were about the same, and it featured the settings, elements and plots from the games), not some random stupid original story with a few Sonic characters shoehorned in and loads of boring and annoying original characters that don’t even look like Sonic characters (*cough*Sally*cough*). Not to mention that StC’s writing was better than what Dic and Archie were ever able to provide (That’s right, fanboys, SatAM ISN’T WELL WRITTEN AT ALL. I recently started re-watching it and it was painful, with the terrible dialogue, the unnatural scenes and action sequences, and the plothole-ridden stories). It’s a pity that so few Sonic fans read it due to it being a British comic.

    • FalconKick says:

      In the immortal words of Popeye the Sailor:

      “That’s all I can stands, cuz I can stands n’more!”

      I’m an American Sonic Fan and I have had to put up with this fallacy for years. YEARS. Frak, I’m probably gonna have to put up with this for the rest of my existence as a Sonic Fan. But there are times where you gotta put your foot down!

      Sonic The Comic is not God’s gift to sequential narrative as everyone on this site would like to spout off frequently. Instead, it is as highly derivative, confusing and ridiculous as you claimed Archie and the DIC cartoons come off as (if not a bit more). And before anyone says anything, YES I have done my research. While I have not grew up with the comic, I did manage to read 12 issues of the printed run, 10 of the online comic and researched the characters through my local wiki. And I am not impressed.

      Now I would have just left it at that, except I have an entire country who will constantly call me out on this “BOLLOCKS” so, in my defense:

      Both continuities have their ups and downs. Both versions are wildly divergent from the source material for numerous reasons. Both created brand new and unique worlds that don’t really fit in with the Sonic Standard but work despite this. Both versions of Sonic are neither as good as the real thing. Both comics have their share of hardcore fans.

      The only reason you blokes make Sonic The Comic the be-all, end-all is that you hide behind the rose colored glass of Nostalgia, magnified by the fact that 89% of the Sonic Fan Community hails from the UK. So what should be a fair debate becomes the equivalent of an XBOX 360 stuck in Japan: a massacre.

      That’s my little rant: It’s just frustrating doing this uphill battle every time this topic is shown just because mass opinion turns into so-called “Fact”. Or to paraphrase this Mik fella:

      “It’s a pity so many Sonic fans praise it due to being a British comic” ;)

      P.S. STC-O is a great project, more canceled comics should use this type of model. And Tekno the Canary is my favorite character, next to Shortfuse. Shame he never got a great re-design.

      • “12 issues of the printed run”

        I’m curious to know which issues. I wouldn’t really consider 12 issues a good indicator of a comic’s quality.

        I’m not trying to be “rose tinted” here but STC was definetly a better read than Archie AT LEAST until Ian Flynn started writing for the latter. I’ve read all of STC and all of Archie and I’m surprised anyone was able to keep reading Pender’s work; cringe worthy would be an understatement.

        I’m currently enjoying Archie Sonic because Flynn knows how to write.

      • Rose teinted glass ? Nostalgia ?
        Not for me. I discovered BOTH Archie and StC in the early 2000 and I prefer StC.
        Heh, I’m an artist at StCO since 2003.
        Still, “12 issues and read the wiki articles” isn’t enough to claim that you’ve done your homework, sir. :P

      • I’m guessing you read the first twelve issues. They’re not that great and a poor selection to judge the series as a whole on – it soon developed into a very different animal.

        You should try reading from issue 18 on. That’s where it started coming into its own.

        And the really good stuff? 50-82. And 175-184. I would be very surprised if you didn’t enjoy most of that.

        Not sure how you think you can judge something by someone’s interpretations of its characters on Wikipedia but you’d be better off reading them for yourself to make your own judgements.

    • I… just don’t agree… While Archie and other continuities had their ups and downs (Hell, even the SEGASonic source material itslef) StC was just like them as well to me. I’ve read the entire thing plus StCO and I find it just “OK”. I get why it’s loved but I don’t get the hypocrisy that it stays “closer to the games than Archie did” when I saw no resemblence to the games after awhile not even in the most simple of concepts (Super Sonic is EEEBILLL!! and Tough-as nails Amy). And StC’s original charactes and backgound characters were waaay more jarring and out of place to me than any of Archie’s (Johnny and Porker lewis wore JEANS?!hmm wonder if Levi’s are made in this world) And every other character had HUMAN proportions (One of the problems people have with Butler’s art in Archie) And some of the art in the original comic just wasn’t very good at times.

      On a story note, well basically when the stories were good, they were damn good and when they were bad, they were BAD (just like the other continuities, see where I’m going?) But unlike you, I know I don’t have nostalgia-goggles for it as I got into StC when StCO revived. Overall I think it’s a fine series with endearing characters just like Archie’s. So here’s to 20 years of StC (and Archie as well, i didn’t forget you) and to many more adventures! Congrats!

      • I think the “closer to the games” thing is misleading. With Archie’s comics, you get 22 pages where a lot of the space is devoted to peripheral characters who have nothing to do with the games. In STC, 90% of the time you would have a 5-7 page strip where the lead character was from the game series and occupied most of the pages. And furthermore Archie’s said peripheral characters tended to stick around for long stretches of time and dominate the landscape of their world whereas with a few exceptions this didn’t really happen in STC.

        And as for the quality business, by the most generous accounts Archie’s comic took about 13 or so years before it developed into anything resembling a quality product. Makes me wonder how STC might have developed by that point if it hadn’t been for the penny-pinchers at Egmont…

        • Then how do people get to that thought-process that it was closer to the source material just because the game characters took precedence? Most of them might as well have been new characters in and of themselves because Fleetway took alot of liberties with them (Sonic=jerk, Amy=tough 90’s chick,Robotnik=schizophrenic suicidal maniac who had none of the charm of SEGA’s and AoStH ‘s eggman/robtonik or even the punny goofiness of early Archie’s Robotnik Prime except for maybe the egg puns he would spout) and at times it got to the point where it felt like I was reading something like Image’s TMNT book where I’m reading it just to see how different or weird it gets.

          As for quality, well I thought both books
          had decent quality to them for the time (it WAS the 90’s y’know, lol), it was just never consistant quality like both Archie and StC-O is now.

          • But in the games that were around during the time it was published, Sonic didn’t have a personality. He didnt speak (nor did anyone else). All we were given was the “hedgehog with attitude” slogan, which Nigel Kitching ran with. Meanwhile the “schizophrenic suicidal Robotnik” only appeared late on in the series. I think if you read issues 1-80 you could feel like you were reading something “in the game universe”, just a narrative expansion of it, whereas there’s always been too much baggage built into Archie to credibly feel that way. Even the way badniks work is different.

  2. Living in America = no Sonic the Comic? :|

  3. AroonStaneksay says:

    Oh my god a lot of Sonic fans help you more than that also Sonic the comic was made in may 29th 1993 it was from 90s . Plus I like Sonic a lot running fast or spin Dash also new skills last one transformed to Super Sonic and Iam Sonic fan.

  4. AzureHedgehog91 says:

    Can you still get these anywhere?

  5. My most poignant memory of STC… well, let’s just say Johnny Lightfoot was my favourite character (I know, even the writers hated him, but I was young). I was 10 or 11 when they killed him off, they had never killed off a main character in the whole run, at least as long as I had read it. I had assumed it was a given that that kind of thing never happened in the comic. I remember just putting down the comic in shock. And then the next issues started with a “dream” where they pretended he was still alive for a few pages. And then the comic essentially ended few weeks later with Johnny’s head looking down on the freedom fighters, Mufasa-style. For a kid, that was sobering.

  6. S.T.C will forever be in my heart as a 9 yr old I stood in the shop looking at it but didnt get the comic till issue 8 for some reason, a few months later i managed to get 1-4 & 6 and 7 yet issue 5 was sold out. Remember this were the days before ebay was just an idea, so fast forward to 2002 and the comic ended and still Issue 5 was missing from my collection until I finally saw it on ebay in 2005, I put a bid on it for about £5 but missed out by 10p. The seller was kind enough to email me about comicalgames.co.uk saying they had back issues, and behold Issue 5 was there, bought it and when it was delivered i couldnt open the comic as was so full of emotion that after 12 years since it was released I had finally completed the collection and started re-reading them in order (1-184, 185-223 were reprints) and felt like a kid again,
    When I came on this site back in 2003 and the headline was STC continues on the web I was so happy others had taken it upon themselves to deliver the magic and spirit of the comics, so Nigel and all the other talented folks at Fleetway & Online thank you so much for making this happen :)
    Its just a shame SEGA doesnt show any love for this in any of its history books on SONIC

    • That must have been a great moment for you. (Pity the story’s so bad.) I had a similar experience with Sonic the Poster Mag 8 (which wasn’t very good either!)

  7. Nigel Kitching says:

    I feel sort of guilty now.
    And I never hated Johnny – I just said he was boring but I was just messing about. There are no boring characters just boring writers.

    • Haha! We love Johnny and it was shocking at the time – but it meant we waited for the next issue with great anticipation! I honestly half expected him to be saved, and when he wasn’t it was all the more surprising – great stories and great memories.

  8. Issue #1 came out on my 8th birthday. I remember it well; the same day I got a Mega Drive and a copy of Sonic 1. Wonderful memories! The comic was a lot of fun, but I must admit that I haven’t read them in years. Having got nearly all of the Archie comics, when I get round to re-reading the Fleetway comics, the story structure will be very strange to me (7 pages a story?!).

    I salute you STC!

  9. I don’t like sonic the comic it’s exactly like Archie was in the late 90’s to mid 00’s too much drama. Sonic is not a soap Oprah.

    • Nor is he a soap Kilroy.

    • We agree! Sonic the Comic is nothing like a guest show host made of a surfactant cleaning compound!

    • Typically the front half of the comic would be Nigel Kitching’s dramatic stories (not without its own humour) and the back half would be Lew Stringer’s comedic strips (with their own action element). Not sure which STCs you’ve been reading but it’s an odd complaint!

  10. Jeffery Mass says:

    3 years of mildly entertaining comics and 17 years of constant shit pumping.

  11. ElizabethBathog says:

    I now this dosent have anything to do whit STC but when do we get to now the date of Summer of Sonic? I need to now so i can plan the journey to London this summer!! I will be having 2 friends and my 2 litre brothers whit me!! And they also want to now when it will be. :)

    Something that has to do whit STC is that i have read it online so i never have got the chance to read the original printed version. :(

    • Hi Elizabeth!
      Dread and the guys at SEGA are working really hard to get our date sorted! We promise we will give you plenty of time to book up!
      -T

      • ElizabethBathog says:

        Ok!! Good luck and i will hopefully see you at SOS this year! :D
        Thank you for taking your time to answer! :)

  12. bmhedgehog says:

    Well I’m an American and I’ve gotten StC off of Ebay for the most part and have a very small collection. I, myself have read both the Archie’s Sonic and StC and to be 100% honest I have enjoyed both series. I would agree with some of you by saying that both series had its ups and downs at one point or another, hell no comic book series was ever perfect. The only small gripe about the StC is the Evil/Demonic Super Sonic, even to this very day I still can’t get my mind off of it, seriously Super Sonic is a good guy in the games. Other than that I think that StC is great.