Twenty 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.
Shortly 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!