Sonic Comic Review: Sonic Universe #29-32 Scourge: Lock-Down

A.K.A. How Scourge got his groove back.

Scourge is the kind of Sonic character I’d normally hate. He looks like a fan character re-color and he’s evil only because he’s a Sonic from another world where everyone’s morals are in reverse. The good guys are bad and the bad guys are good. The McDLT’s are always ruined because the hot side stays cool and the cool side stays hot. But I’ll be danged if Ian Flynn doesn’t know how to write the guy in a way that always makes for a fun story. He’s basically a parody of Sonic with all of Sonic’s cockiness and arrogance turned up to 11. It makes you end up liking him BECAUSE he’s a jerk rather than in spite of.

The story begins with Scourge at the lowest point of his life. After turning into Super Scourge and coming very close to defeating Sonic for good in “Hedgehog Havoc”, he was ultimately defeated and put into the No-Zone inter-dimensional prison where he is picked on and beaten every day thanks to an inhibitor collar that kills his speed powers and dampens his normal abilities. His only “friends” are Al and Cal (AKA Horizont-Al and Verti-Cal). An odd duo from much earlier Sonic tales. They are are sort of mystical Elmer-Fudd-looking beings who are gods in their own dimension. They take pity on Scourge and try to befriend him. They’ll find out later that no good deed goes unpunished.

Scourge has given up so badly that he doesn’t even bother to fight back at all. It’s a good start in the first issue as it makes you have sympathy for the devil. Luckily for him, his girlfriend Fiona comes in and gets herself along with the Destructix. She needs Scourge for a big job and has a plan to bust him and the Destructix back out of prison. At first Scourge refuses and yells at Fiona for possibly getting him killed since anyone building up a gang in prison is targeted for extermination by the evil King Max. But soon he realizes he needs them to escape and has to regain their trust over the next four issues as they plan their big breakout.

Now, you may be asking yourself, “What’s the No-Zone?” Well, much like DC’s infinite earths, there are multiple Mobius worlds across many dimensions. The No-Zone contains a police force that tries to stop any criminals who would misuse cross-dimensional traveling. Yes, there are alternate versions of our favorite Sonic characters in this dimension, but they all begin with the letter Z. Zonic, Zector, Zouge and Warden Zobotnik.

This is where some of the real fun of the book lies. Because it takes place in an inter-dimensional prison, there are opportunities for some fun cameos. You’ll be scouring the artwork to see some of them including the Werehog (twice in the off-panel strips), a muscle-bound Amy, an Angry Bird, Void, Bebop and Rocksteady, even Mephilis shows up to deliver the funniest line in the story.

This story arc has everything.  Good humor from the many cameos and other jokes. Great character development for Scourge as he goes from punching bag to king of the hill. But mostly, we finally get to see the back stories of the Destructix and more on Fiona. Before this arc, the Destructix were just a group of villains with little known about them. Since Scourge has to regain their trust if he wants to get out, he gets to know each one and in turn we get to know a lot more about them. Fiona’s back story is a bit tragic as she recalls her tough past and has learned to rely on no one but herself. Yet, here she goes and risks long term imprisonment to rescue the man she loves who only seems to love himself.

While, the first three issues is mostly all about character exploration and development, the fourth issue is all-out action as the prison escape takes up almost the entire issue. Scourge gets to show the great leader he can be even when he’s going back into the prison to get petty revenge on the inmates who mistreated him. He also “rewards” Al and Cal which helps cause a great distraction. Does he escape? Does anyone get left behind? I’ll leave it to you to read and find out.

While I did enjoy this story arc immensely, I do have some minor nitpicks to discuss. First off is the inhibitor collars the inmates wear. While they do seem to cut off any powers, they also seem to barely dampen anyone’s natural abilities. Flying Frog can still shimmy his skinny body through prison bars and use his long tongue as a weapon. Sgt. Simian can still bench press a few hundred pounds and Lightning Lynx still seems to have his ninja abilities. In short, it almost makes these collars seem kind of pointless outside of tracking everyone.

Also (Spoilers folks!) I have a problem with the Deus Ex Machina that helps them in their escape attempt. It’s in a box with their normal belongings when they were first brought in. I won’t say what it is but I doubt a Zone guard would not recognize it and what it does. I would have liked a better explanation of how they sneaked it in.

That said, Scourge: Lockdown is the best Sonic story arc this year. It’s highly entertaining, full of humor and gives great insight to the characters. As usual Tracy Yardley does a great job with the artwork and gives us tons of cameos to scour the book to find. I recommend picking up these issues at your local comic store, or you could wait a year or two for the graphic novel version. Either way, if your a Scourge fan, it’s a must read.

Overall Score:

8.5

By the way folks, i’m going to try to make these Sonic comic reviews to be a regular thing from now on. I’ll be reviewing Genesis in about two weeks when the final part of that story arrives. I’m going to try to do it story arc by story arc, but with the main book having a long, branching story you can expect some single issue reviews as well.

Interview: Paul Kaminski

Paul on the left. followed by Mike Pellerito, Ben Bates and Ian Flynn

Down at the 2500 isle of the San Diego Comic Con, Archie Comics had thier biggest booth yet. Stationed next to IDW Comics and Boom Studios. In recent years, Archie comics has been doing well at making their presence known, making headlines with the “Archie Marries” and “Kevin Keller” series. Their biggest acquisition in the past year has been the Mega Man license. Sales of the comic have been doing phenomenally well pushing past sales of their former top seller and still big seller Sonic the Hedgehog. Sega was also at Archie’s booth with two demo stations playing Sonic Generations. Needless to say, as a Sonic fan, I hung out there quite a bit. On Friday, I sat down with Archie Comics editor Paul Kaminki to discuss Mega Man, Cosmo and all things Sonic. Here’s what he had to say.

Last year, you used one word to hint at the events of this year “Genesis”. Ian hinted at the events of #225 with “BLAM!BLAM!BLAM!” What is the one word you would use to hint at #230 and beyond?

Paul – The best. I’ve seen 230 and 231 pencils and it’s the best stuff we’ve ever done. It’s the fallout from 225, the aftermath of Genesis and the road to 250 all in one. Ben Bates worked on those and he outdid himself. He worked on 232 and it’s coming along fantastic as well.

Awesome. Out of the main four Sega characters, Knuckles, Tails and Sonic have all had their backgrounds fleshed out well. But Amy Rose seems to have little known about her. Will we ever see an arc about her backstory?

Paul – Yes. You won’t see too much in the near future, but you will see some more of that next year. Amy will be taking up a larger role as well. I really can’t say to much more than that, but Sonic’s gonna need her help.

Sounds very interesting. With Sally’s life hanging on the line, it seems to have divided some of the fanbase. Some who want her to live and some who’d love to see her dead. Will the outcome of this current story be able to please both sides?

Paul – I think so. It satisfied me anyway. (Laughs) We’re not trying to disrespect the character at all. We just want to make a real interesting story like you’ve never quite seen with her before. It’s easy to say she’s got Jean Grey syndrome in that she’s taken out and brought back again over and over, but I think what we’ve done with her and what we’re about to with her is unique. Whether she’s alive or dead, her story is not over at all.

In Sonic Genesis, it’s kind of a flashback to Sonic 1 and 2 as Eggman reset the world. Will the effects from the Genesis storyline affect the Prime World at all?

Paul – Yea. Definitely. With some characters you might not expect it to have an effect on. It will have an effect on the cast going forward.

I kind of like what was done with Rotor/Boomer in Genesis. Making him smarter and tougher.

Paul – Yea. I saw online that this reviewer’s little kid loved it when Boomer smashed up the Caterkiller. I love him too! Mike (Perrilito) hates him. He keeps telling me. “Why do you keep using the dumb Walrus?” I tell him “Cuz Rotor’s cool man!” (Laughs) Genesis has some great qualities that I think will transition nicely into the main universe.

Will Silver’s search for the traitor come to fruition soon?

Paul – VERY soon. 

Moving onto Mega Man which is doing absolutely incredible in sales. Are you surprised at the high sales in the direct market? Even surpassing Sonic by quite a bit?

Paul – Yes. Quite happy with direct market and newstands too. We saw a particular spike in newstands that we’re hoping to stretch ever further with the graphic novel later this year. Because, I became a big fan of Fables through the graphic novels so I’m hoping more people will become fans of Mega Man and Sonic through the trades. 

I think the first 3 issues were handled very well. It seems less of a game adaption as it does about a boy being sent off into a war and the effects it has on him. In issue #2, he has to kill other robots for the first time and he hates it. He doesn’t like killing his own kind. In issue #3, he’s become desensitized to it and he starts getting an attitude. Did you and Ian mean to develop his character in this manner?

Paul – His character is the most important thing we’re trying to juggle. It’s very important to us that we develop this character properly in the first arc and beyond.

The only small complaint I had about the first three issues is that the Robot Masters seem to get squashed pretty quickly with no time for their characters to get any personality (outside of Cutman). Will this be addressed in future stories?

Paul – Well, the comic isn’t called “Robot Masters” it’s called Mega Man so he’s the main thing we’re focused on. The Robot Masters are not going away. They’ll be back and back and back as part of the regular cast. I’ve read alot abut the complaints about them being taken out too easily. They are part of Mega Man’s evolution as a character. Wily’s the real bad guy. He won’t be gone for long either. In hindsight, maybe we took them out too fast, but we needed to get through the book to establish the first story. I think in the graphic novel, it won’t seem so fast and it will seem like a very coherent tale.

What will we see from Mega Man in the future?

Paul – An integration of original stuff to a limited degree with faithful adaptions of the other games. Different artists. All stories done in a 4-issue arc Sonic Universe style.

So we can expect to see his robo dog Rush next year?

Paul – Yes. I saw the preliminaries of his design. but we work pretty far in advance. I’m pretty excited myself. I’ve seen the finished pencils from the next arc and it looks great.

Going onto Cosmo the Merry Martian. Can you tell us what this title is all about?

Paul – Cosmo is still something we’re working out. we don’t have a set date for him yet. He’s an old character from the 50’s and 60’s. He’s pretty much Spongebob in space. It’s Ian’s opportunity to run wild.

Speaking of poor Ian, he’s got a lot on his plate now. What with four titles to work on. Is there any chance for a not-so-young up and comer with a popular webcomic that Yardley’s worked on to have a shot at one of the titles to ease his burden? (Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink)

Paul – (Laughter) Is that a pitch? You’ll see some changes in the writing lineup in the future. Tracy will be writing the Babylon arc after Scourge is done. We have two other writers coming in to do backup stories, so you’ll see a little switch up here and there. Ian’s still the brain trust. He and I get together to workout the storylines for years to come.

Well, thank you so much for your time Paul, it’s been a pleasure.

Paul – Thank you.

Stay tuned this week to see how you can win a Comic-Con package that includes an exclusive SDCC copy of #226 signed by Ian Flynn. Along with Sonic Boom buttons and an animation cell from “Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog”!

 

 

 

 

The Sonic Show’s Summer of Sonic Retrospective

This year’s Summer of Sonic convention had so much going on…competitions, Sonic Generations, music performances, guests and loads more – even if you attended, you no doubt missed some parts of the day.

But have no fear! Discoponies and the cyberwizards over at The Sonic Show have put together a 75-minute Summer of Sonic retrospective show, absolutely packed with all the events of the day!

Even if that doesn’t satisfy your appetite for Summer of Sonic or if you’re still feeling blue and missing hanging out with all your fellow Sonic fans…there is a whole heap of other bonus footage to catch including the Nevermind the Buzzbombers competition, all 40 minutes of Julien-K’s performance, and of the uncut, unedited Sonic Team Interview!

You have absolutely no excuse to be bored this weekend!

Graphic Novels and Large B&W Books Come to Archie’s Sonic

 

TSSZ news got word from an article in Publishers’ Weekly that a new “phone book” size comic will be coming out called Sonic Legacy. The first 512 page black and white Sonic book chronicling his first two years at Archie comics. These large B&W volumes are similar to Marvel’s “Essentials” series. Due to using black and white newsprint, these large volumes can come out at cheaper prices.

Meanwhile, Sonic Universe titles will be given the graphic novel treatment. Starting with the four-part Shadow saga. There will be extras included in the graphic novels to encourage fans to buy the hard copies instead of digital download. This is great news as these books will be available in standard book stores and not just comic shops. Ian Flynn has stated “And now, some two years after the fact, you know the reason why SU has always have a 4-issue arc format. We’ve been tailor-making this series for GN production from the start.”

Also, the Archives series of digests continue with the Knuckles Archives. Which will feature several of the first issues of Knuckles 32 issue chronicles.

Publishers Weekly Article can be found here.

Sonic Legacy Volume one is due to hit bookshelves in December.

Summer of Sonic Guest Announcement: Archie Writer Ian Flynn!

Wow! Summer of Sonic sure is shaping up to have a huge Archie comics presence this year! Quick in the wake of the announcement of Archie Sonic Comic artist Tracy Yardley on Monday, Summer of Sonic is extremely proud to announce our second Archie comics guest this year, Ian Flynn!

Flynn has been head writer for the American based comic since way back in 2005 (issue 160 to be precise!) and has rapidly gained fan popularity with his finger firmly on the pulse of the Sonic the Hedgehog community.

We look forward to seeing both Ian and Tracy at this year’s convention – in fact we can hardly maintain our excitement!

More guest news will be available very soon, so do keep checking the Summer of Sonic website!

Summer of Sonic 2011 Guest Announcement: Tracy Yardley!

With Summer of Sonic 2011’s date rapidly approaching (Less than two-and-a-half months to go now!), expect to see a whole host of announcements over on the Summer of Sonic website with regards to guests and events at this year’s convention.

To start us off, we at the Summer of Sonic can proudly announce that Archie Comic artist Tracy Yardley! will be attending this year’s convention! As many of you know Tracy has been involved with the franchise since 2005 and has become one of the most recognised artists in the comic series. We hope you are all looking forward to meeting Tracy at this year’s convention!

If you are considering coming to Summer of Sonic and this is your first convention (particularly if you are travelling from overseas), don’t forget to check out the travel guide on the SoS site for handy hints and tips on getting to the Camden Centre venue and on places to stay.

Don’t forget to keep track of guest and event anonuncements on the SoS website!

Archie Comics Panel Live Coverage @ NYCC (Ended)

The New York Comic Con starts today, and you guys know what that means: interviews, news, and media galore! This is all being brought to you by TJ Selinka, who’s first stop at the con will be today’s Archie panel “Archie Comics Means Business!”, which will be followed by a visit to the Archie booth to talk with Ian Flynn and a few other members of the Archie Comics staff.

This news post will provide live coverage for the “Archie Comics Means Business!” panel, which will run from 3:15-4:15 EST. Expected at the panel are some exclusive Sonic the Hedgehog comic related announcements, as well as details on Sonic scribe Ian Flynn’s upcoming secret project. Selinka will be updating this news post with all announcements relevant to either of those subjects. This will all be followed by a complete video upload of the panel later today, as well as a promised interview with Ian Flynn!

It has begun:

Archie Comics has partnered with Capcom and will be publishing MEGAMAN comics in 2011.

Betty and Veronica will be receiving their own magazine comic similar to Life with Archie.

Archie is bringing back their Superhero Comic lines, in 2011.

Back to Mega Man.  Chad Thomas and Spaz are working on Mega Man.

Within the next few weeks more Sonic Comic apps are going to be available through itunes itself.

lottery tickets starring archie charcaters

Ian flynn is writing MEGAMAN, and a reboot of Cosmo the Merry Martian.

SEGA loved the Sonic Encylopedia, and are trying to figure out what to do with the marketing. Encyclopedia is over an inch and a half thick. Has been put on hiatus because SoA has gotten more invovled.

Aaaaand THAT’S IT! Stay tuned for pictures from the panel, as well as a full video, later in the day! We’ll also be bringing you an interview with Ian Flynn!

Pictures from Summer of Sonic 2010

Welcome to my pictorial roundup of Summer of Sonic 2010! Here are a collection of photos from the day, taken by my sister, who was there as official Summer of Sonic photographer (do go check out her website!) If you stopped and posed for a photo thank you; being busy on stage meant I didn’t get an opportunity to take photos for myself, so these are all fantastic captured moments of what was a fantastic day for all.

Over breakfast the day before, Johnny Gioeli leaned over the table and asked me how many people were coming to this little shindig he would be performing at tomorrow. I proceeded to explain that we were expecting between eight-hundred and a thousand people to show up, travelling from all corners of the world, and he was simply staggered. Although I knew the numbers myself, the reality of it all didn’t sink in until the countdown began on stage, and looked down onto the vast throng of people. It still seems like another lifetime to me when Dreaknux, AAUK and myself were huddled around a little table in a Nottingham café fantasising about the prospect of a Sonic convention, yet not four years later we have accomplished a third successful Sonic event.

First off I want to thank all of you guys; you all showed up for starters, supported the event, and behaved impeccably. I didn’t hear one complaint on the day that you had to wait an extra half an hour outside of the venue (an unfortunate setback because of the thefts of electronics), You all waited patiently in queues for Sonic 4, Sonic Colours and the Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing tournament, in some cases for over an hour. Although we managed to get over twelve pods on the day, more than twice the number we had last year, we could have done with more – the popularity of the games available was incredible! I also didn’t hear one moan about the heat during the Crush 40 performance either, even from those of you who aren’t used to attending hot and sweaty rock gigs; everyone was far too busy enjoying the rare opportunity to watch Jun and Johnny perform live. I also want to thank you all for treating our guests with respect and politeness throughout the day.

Although I was pretty much running from point to point for the entirety of the event, what really made my day was the brief pauses I had in between my dashes, chatting to you guys. Even if it was only for a few minutes it was awesome to catch up with you lot, have my photo taken with you…or even signing things! I had a few minutes to catch up with Aaron “RubyEclipse” Webber, the community manager at SEGA of America, who is a fantastic and pleasant fellow, and is probably just as busy when he’s away from his (now Green Hill Zone themed!) desk. It was also marvellous to catch up with folks from the SSMB, Junsenoue.com, SonicWrecks.com, NiGHTSintoDreams.com and EmeraldCoast.co.uk amongst many sites, and to finally put some names to faces! Thanks to everyone who has sent the staff and I a thank you via PM, email or facebook, and a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who bought me a drink or a bottle of my favourite poison – my whiskey cabinet is now well stocked!

I want to also convey my heartfelt thanks to our guests Nigel Dobbyn, Jun Senoue and Johnny Gioeli. For starters these guys are incredibly busy folk, and yet they took time out to come along and perform, draw, talk and sign items for you, for free. I’m always stunned that at the end of every event our guests always ask if they can come back next year, sometimes with their kids because they love coming out to meet you lot, and because the atmosphere is always so friendly. A huge cheer for the guys and gals at Archie Comics and First4Figures too for their extremely kind donation of literally hundreds of comics and action figures! I must also extend my thanks to Richard Elson of STC fame for donating some fantastic artwork to give away as well – all very much appreciated!

I think I speak for the majority of attendees when I say the Crush 40 performance totally blew everyone away. Organising all of the pieces that went towards creating the performance involved many sleepless nights on my behalf – I had nightmares of cabs blowing and microphones failing, but yet in the end it all came together miraculously. I give my infinite gratitude to AAUK, Dreadknux, Jun Senoue and SEGA for assisting me in putting it all together. I don’t think even in my wildest dreams I’d ever imagined introducing Crush 40 on stage…so Summer of Sonic really has become a place in which even my dreams have become reality.

Before I conclude, I think thanks are in order to all the members of staff this year, some of whom have, for a third year running, have given up their time to provide a fun-filled day for everyone. Not only that, some of these folks have donated substantial quantities of money towards the running of these events, and so I’d like to end with a few words of thanks to a few of them:

The DJs; FastFeet, Turbo, BlitzChris and Gavvie: The boys kept the turntables hot all day. This was the first year I haven’t commanded the DJ booth, so I tip my hat to Mr. Graham “FastFeet” Seward who took up the reigns and kept the wheels turning, and who also provided a spot-on job with backing tracks for Jun and Johnny’s performances – simply amazing dude.

The Store Staff: Flyboy, WayPastCool, Speedknux, Char & Nemain – My NiGHTS in shining armour! These guys manned the stores selling all those of wonderful bits of merchandise that no doubt grace many of your shelves and wardrobes. From Jun, Johnny, Tracey Yardley and myself, thank you all so much! A special thanks to Nemain who is probably the person responsible for propping me up the past few months!

The Tech Guys: B’man, Discoponies & Roareye – Even with a massive blow to their arsenal with the theft of equipment the night before, they provided excellent on stage support with feeds and visual magic for the third year running. I honestly don’t think there are any limits to what these guys can achieve on the day!

The Doors and the Games: Urtheart, Vger, Jay Zeach, Shadzter & Blake Draco – The ever present Urtheart once again resided over the doors flanked by his cronies, allowing us all to have another safe day at Summer of Sonic, while Shadz and Blake both kept the crowds moving on the pods. Cheers guys!

Sonic the Hedgehog: He always shows up year in year out with no complaint. And year in year out SonicYoda is nowhere to be seen…we thank him for staying in touch with him and getting him along every year!

…and the Rest: SoA, bcdcdude, Iceman, Rachael, ENVY, Gnasher & SonicMark – I still maintain Iceman is the coolest bloke on the Earth, doubly so as he jumped in when the going got tough and was a huge help setting up the day before. I also tip my hat to the dudes from junsenoue.com who also pitched in, especially in bringing me much needed sustenance in the form of a cheese burger. Rach was also running around much like my sis taking loads of snaps during the day as well. ENVY is the very tallented young chap who provided the fantastic art for the Buzzbombers quiz, and Gnasher for once again running the show. SonicMark has become affectionately known as my caddy as he ends up lugging my stuff around – I just need to find him an appropriate hat. Thanks loads fellas, you all helped make my life easier throughout the organisation of the event.

The Dynamic Duo: AAUK & Dreadknux – Let’s face it, Summer of Sonic only happens because these two guys have the drive to propel it forward. Kevin has once again gone so far beyond the call of duty that we’ve had to send out a search party for him. Svend somehow manages to coordinate a fantastic website every year and continues to be our shining standard bearer. Even though this event is nothing short of an organisational nightmare, they keep coming back year after year to entertain you lot, and I hope your remember that.

So, Summer of Sonic is done for another year, but we’ve already got a date in our diaries for 2011 (25th of June, folks!). Who knows what will be going down on the day, but with it Sonic’s 20th birthday racing towards us, anything could happen!

Thank you all for an awesome SoS ’10.

T

It’s Sonic Month at FirstComicNews!

The comic book website “FirstComicNews” is devoting an entire month to Sonic the Hedgehog! The event includes a variety of features, including character bios, best of lists, and interviews with the creators. For those of you still unfamiliar with the comics, this could be a good way to learn more about them!

If you want to check out all of their articles for Sonic Month, check out their columns section. One that some of you may find particularly interesting highlights some awesome looking Sonic tattoos.

Ex-Archie Writer Ken Penders Claims Copyright to Archie Characters & Stories

Ken Penders, as most die-hard Archie readers will know, is one of the more prolific writer/artists to have contributed to the Sonic the Hedgehog Archie comic universe over the years. However it has come to light today that Penders, in a statement on his website, will be pursuing copyright claims to the stories and characters he has been responsible for creating in the past. For those who don’t follow Archie comics – this is a substantial amount of material, not only including popular characters such as Julie-Su and Geoffrey St. John, but a large amount of the Sonic & Knuckles story arcs. Penders also claims that plotlines used in the Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood title were adapted from his works.

To quote the statement on Penders’ Web page:

As for how it affects the SONIC THE HEDGEHOG titles published by Archie Comics, while it does not prevent them from publishing the SONIC series, they are not allowed to use any of my characters, concepts or stories without further discussion with my representatives. For now, they cannot reprint any of my stories in any media whatsoever, nor can they use any of my characters. Julie-Su, Geoffrey St. John, Hershey, Rob O’ the Hedge, Lien-Da, the Dark Legion along with the rest of the characters and concepts I created – including the alternative universes and future timeline – cannot appear in the series.

This could potentially affect a large number of factors in the future of the comic’s publishing, as many editions of the Archie Archives books as well as current and future story arcs, currently being written by Ian Flynn include works Penders claims property of.  Penders also states he is seeking intellectual property advice from an LA-based attorney, and also warns of cease and desist letters being issued to anyone using these characters and concepts without permission.

This is of course not the first time there has been ill feeling between Penders and Archie Comics, with Penders lashing out at Ian Flynn earlier this year.

What are your thoughts and feelings on this situation? Let us know in the comments!

You can read the rest of Penders’ statement on Ken Penders Official Website.

Again, I would like to request that comments keep in mind that both Ken, Ian and other writers and artists actively use and read the internet; out-an-out flaming and insults will be removed. Cheers! -T

eBay Watch: Rich Koslowski Sonic The Hedgehog #26 p6 Orig.Comic Art

koslowski-sonic-26p6

A rare piece of original artwork fom the Archie Sonic The Hedgehog comic’s has appeared on eBay.
The seller’s description is as follows –

You’re looking at an original page of art by alt comix wise guy and all around #1 guy and the most under rated comix guy on the planet. He’s a genius. He knows it, i know it, and…well that’s 2 so far…i present to you Meester RICH KOSLOWSKI. This is a page from ARCHIE comics’ SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #26, page 6. Pen & ink on paper (11 x 17 inches), excellent condition. Signed in the lower right.

The seller has 100% positive feedback, is located in New York City, U.S. and will ship for $18.00 but anywhere outside the U.S. will cost much more. Right now the starting bid is $9.00 and the time left as of this post is 6 days 3 hours (Dec 10, 200920:58:25 PST) so fans of thise comic series will want to get in quick to avoid missing this gem.

Link
via GoNintendo

Archie’s Sonic Universe No.10 Preview

Archie Comic’s have released a preview of Issue number 10 of Sonic Universe, the 2nd part of it’s 4 part series focused on Knuckles and the Chaotix.

Here is an excerpt, the cover and first 5 pages they’ve revealed –

“Echoes of the Past Part Two”: As Knuckles’ friends try to valiantly defend the Master Emerald against a seemingly never-ending horde of robots, Knuckles delves deeper into the mysteries surrounding him… until he finally finds Dr. Finitevus! Knuckles is bent on revenge, but he’s not counting on the surprise twist that will delay his quest. You can’t afford to miss this exciting, action-packed issue!

su1 su2 su3

su4 su5 su6

Link

Perms for Herms: Win Signed Matt Herms Sketchbook

So, you fancy winning yourself a copy of Matt Herm’s Sketchbook? Not only has this renowned Archie comics artist signed this book of sketches, it’s also got a hand-drawn sketch of Sonic on the back page too!

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Not too shabby a prize eh?

So, if you would like to add this cool-ass comic to your collection, get yer pencils out!

Sonic and the gang feel like their hairdoos just aren’t hip anymore – they’re just too nineties! So, what we want to do is to give your favourite Sonic character a new haircut, as our resident Roarey Raccoon demonstrates!

tails_hair1

You don’t need to be an artist! Points will be awarded for style and originality! Closing date for entries is the 27th of March…so get scribbling!

Send all your entries to permsforherms@googlemail.com.

Interview: Archie Artist Matt Herms

TSS caught up with Matt Herms, colourist and artist for Archie Comic’s Sonic the Hedgehog series, to chat a little about comics, conventions and of course, beards…


So Matt, how did you get started with the whole comic book drawing thing? Were there any comics that, as a child, you particularly enjoyed reading, or that inspired you into drawing comics and cartoons yourself?


Dude, I think I’ve always read comics – for as long as I can remember, for sure. My first comics were stuff based on cartoons I liked, like Transformers or Real Ghostbusters; or stuff based on video games. Valiant published a series of Nintendo and Super Mario-based books way back when… And then I got into my first and true comic book obsession: Sonic the Hedgehog.


I know, I know – how convenient ‘n’ coincidental, right? Seriously though, I’m very honored, humbled, and blessed that my first major comic book work stateside happens to be on the very book I adored and collected with such a passion growing up. (I even drew my own Sonic comics as a kid!) It’s the comic that really got me into comics, in every single way.


Growing up with Sonic, do you have any favourite Sonical moments from your childhood? Did you have a favourite Sonic game you liked to play as a kid, or any favourites from the recent flurry of games?


Oh man, I hate to break the news to you guys, but I have a confession to make: I’ve always been a Super Mario man [Sacrilege! – T]. I know, I know… We can stop the interview right here, if you want. But I dug the Super Mario Bros. =P My only real Sonic gaming experience early on was Sonic the Hedgehog 2, for Genesis. It was the first and only game I actually had for the system – and I played the hell out of it! It was challenging, and pretty, and I logged months on-end into that game. (I never beat it, either.)


I think what really drew me into the Sonic fandom was what DiC Animation did with the license – Sonic “SatAM.” It was such a different beast of a show from what I’d previously known. Continuity-driven, even maturely-themed. Through that and the comics, my investment in the characters grew. Then Sonic Adventure happened and I knew I was hooked: I once again shelled out for an entire gaming system just to play one Sonic game.


Now that you are an artist for Archie’s Sonic the Hedgehog series, how do you go about drawing a character to reflect their attitudes and demeanours? Do you have any favourite characters, or characters you get particular pleasure out of drawing?


These days I do mostly colorist work, but I got to tackle almost all of my favorite characters during my drawing tenure. I’d lost track of StH while in high school, and when I came back to it years later Sonic had an all new romantic interest: Mina Mongoose. And I recall thinking “Holy crap is that ballsy… Way to go, Archie!” I mean, I come from the Internet fandom, and know that we can be rather outspoken sometimes… The idea of Sonic dating anyone whose name isn’t “Sally” or “Amy” is practically sacrilege. I got back into the comic big-time because of it, and was thrilled when my very first ish as penciler was re-introducing Mina into continuity after a long, long absence.


Sonic himself is by far the most fun to draw – he’s so pose-able and action-tastic! And even characters I thought I’d severely dislike drawing (Mammoth Mogul) turned into new favorites. I even got to draw Fiona Fox, who I have wa-a-ay too much of a comic-book-crush on. XD The only thing I’d missed was a Scourge brawl – I friggin’ love Scourge. Much to my excitement, I got to finally draw a Sonic/Scourge smackdown in the recent StH#197.

I gotta’ say, I’m not fond at all of drawing Amy, though. =/ And I had a whole issue with her in the spotlight! XP


We all know you are a master of the beard…something to which I relate, and salute. Do you have a name for your “beard style?”


Hah! Alas, I do not. I’ve been bearded since ’05, and ran the gamut from goatee to scruffy lumberjack, to my favorite Gendo Ikari (from Evangelion) beard… Which my future mother-in-law says makes me look Amish. I’ve done Amish-beard with blue-dyed hair, too. (Not intentionally Sonic-inspired… Seriously, it didn’t even occur to me until I was out promoting the comics!)


You’re also involved in other web comics such as Sticky Floors on Snafu; tell us a little about that.


…Haha! Oh man, Sticky Floors... XP

So, when I was just starting out, I’d noticed that web comics seemed to be a booming kinda’ business: A great way to get your name, your style, your work out there and a great way of building a readership and fan-base. Web comics were also getting a great deal of perks at conventions, and I wanted in on that gravy train.


Sticky Floors was a li’l high school comic strip based largely on the personalities of me and my pervy, juvenile, sex-obsessed friends. David Stanworth, owner of the mega web comic-collective Snafu-Comics.com, offered me a free-ride with hosting and promotion and a built-in readership of thousands from the get-go, and the rest was history.


The comedy of authoring a horribly explicit, potty-mouthed raunch-fest like Sticky Floors while simultaneously being employed by the most wholesome, family-friendly comic book publisher in America isn’t lost on me. (I’m actually very tickled by it. Just don’t go spreadin’ that around! ;P) It’s partly been why the strip has fallen by the wayside in the last year: While I’m out-and-about promoting the Sonic books and my work in them, I have to shelf SF and censor its shenanigans. I miss it from time-to-time – I love the format! But it accomplished everything I wanted it to and I’m very proud of that.


We love our music here at TSS – particularly our Sonic music! Visiting your Deviantart account we see you’re a Coheed and Cambria fan (rock on!) – What genres of music particularly inspire you, and do you have any favourite pieces of Sonic-related music from games or TV shows?


Okay, so I’m totally a geek. And I’m proud of that and think I’m in excellent company. =P I have absolutely every single vocal track from Sonic Adventure and (especially) Adventure 2. I love them hard! In addition to video game soundtrack (preferably instrumental stuff from RPGs), I have very varied tastes. I love Reel Big Fish, All American Rejects, and definitely Coheed & Cambria. Anything 80s music, and a lotta’ techno and trance and dance music, too.

Also, musicals. Serious face, I love the hell outta’ them. And, yes, I sing along. And have done so publicly and unapologetically, while sober in fact!


What does a World-class comic artist do in their spare time?


These days, planning a wedding! =D

I’m actually very blessed that my career happens to be doing something that I’d just be doing anytime, anyway, as a hobby or such. So in the time I may not be drawing or Photoshopping, I usually just poke around the Inter-webs. (Wikipedia is awesome, and awesomely time-consuming.)


You’ve just been to the IKKiCon 2009 convention in Austin, Texas – how did that go? We know you’re a Power Rangers fan (aren’t we all?)…did you manage to bump into Jason David Frank?


Haha! Well, since you’ve given me the opportunity, I’d like to properly shout-out to Mike Loredo and his con-staff over at Ikki – they really put on the most amazing show every year and they invite me out and treat us so well and I absolutely love Austin. IkkiCon is one of the best shows I do all year, and this last weekend lived up to the hype.


As for Jason David Frank… Ya’ see, Loredo is as much a Power Rangers fanboy as I am. We grew up with that show – hell, I still have quite a few of the action figures from Mighty Morphin’ on display in my office! So one morning, Loredo drops by my table in Artist Alley, all cool and calm and crap. And he’s like, “So Jason Frank just got here. About to do a signing. Wanna’ meet him?” And I’m thinking: Dude, I just got here. I can’t go stand in a line right now. And he’s all, “No, like, meet him. Before the signing.” Hell yes!


So we get introduced, I give him a big poster of a Power Ranger illustration I’d done especially for the con, and I got my picture taken with him. He’s a totally nice guy! I had such a hardcore fan moment, it was morphinominal! (Yes, I said it. =P) I found out later in the con he wanted some postcard prints of individual Rangers I’d drawn. For his daughter. How friggin’ cool is that?


The convention scene is something you are quite keen on; what do you enjoy about doing conventions? Are you attending any up-and-coming conventions that your fans should put the dates in their diaries for?


Man, I adore conventions. I starting doing ‘em in 2005 – I was a kid, fresh out of high school, no work to my name. There’s a lot I love about the shows – the travel, meeting new and interesting people, seeing old friends I only get to see every couple months. I especially love the interaction with fans and readers! When somebody comes up and is like “Oh man, you do Sonic!” or Sticky Floors. It’s such a high, and I love chatting about how the book is made or my favorite characters or games and stuff. (In case you haven’t noticed, I can ramble on-and-on about this stuff.) When I’m at a con, my goal is to make everyone that stops by the table feel like it was absolutely worth it. I’m there as part of your convention experience, and I take that job very seriously.


Nothing is set in-stone yet about my upcoming calendar, but I will definitely be doing Free Comic Book Day the first Saturday of May. This is an amazing event – we’ll have a special retrospective issue of Sonic up for grabs (It’s free!) as well as free copies of some of the issues my work’s appeared in… And I’ll be doing free sketches! =D All from Laughing Ogre Comics and Toys in Lansdowne, Virginia. (My fellow Sonic creatives will be doing likewise at other stores, too.)


Trying to avoid the generic question…but what are your aims and aspirations for the future?


Keep doing what I’m doing, working with great teams to produce some truly great comic book experiences! I like to work – I’m a full-on work-a-holic – so I’m hoping to see a lot of material produced this year.


Thanks for letting me talk your ears off, guys! =D It was a pleasure.


Big shout out to Matt for the interview! Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for your chance to win yourself a copy of Matt Herm’s Sketch book, complete with a hand-drawn sketch of Sonic by Matt himself!

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