Monday, February 26, 2007

Fastest Thing Still Alive for some Reason

Two particularly shameful nights in a row. I really need some sort of inspiration walk.

Reading some of my Grade 6 comic books, the single funniest 'kid-ism' I could find was when I told the readers the camera angle in a caption ("This is an overhead shot"). Apparently, at age 12, I did not believe my audience knew the difference between shots. Or I just wanted to make my shitty pen art more clear. It still seemed pretty funny.

Looking back at those, it really showed that reading Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog comic series taught me nothing of the form. I could definitely see the inspiration that Sonic had, especially in the faux advertising and editorials I had to include in every single comic. But I really don't think I came to really 'understand' comics until much later. Still, Sonic at least got me interested in the medium.

What a perfect time to talk about Sonic comics themselves, huh? I've been meaning to get to that eventually.

Sonic and it's spin-offs were an odd bunch. Surprisingly, the original title is still going at it, after almost 15 years of being published. I do believe that makes it the longest licensed comic ever produced? I could be wrong.

If I didn't know it as a fact, I'd find it hard to believe that anyone could get that much mileage out of the concept of a blue anthropomorphic hedgehog with super speed fighting a fat man's army of robots. It takes a certain kind of talent to be able to come up with new plots every month, let alone take them as seriously as those writers did. Yep, they took those stories seriously.

Or they did later on. From my understanding, the earlier issues invoked a more cartoony style, with simplistic Super Friends-style plots. As to be expected, because honestly, it's Sonic the Hedgehog.

I started reading long after that period, though. My first issue (#35, I do believe) was dealing with other dimensions and that kind of Kirby-lite funky junk. It's downright surreal that someone thought a story like that fit in the established concept of Sonic the Hedgehog.

They were able to fit a number of seemingly out there mythology into that series, and especially into the Knuckles the Echidna comics that spun off from it. I always favored those comics to the Sonic ones; I guess I thought the mythology and characters in them were far superior, despite the fact that the titular character looked nothing like the titular animal. They had tons of crazy ongoing plots, like Knuckles constantly being monitored by a gathering of his ancestors (who all had fantastical names like "Steppenwolf", "Athair", "Locke"...and then there was "Knuckles"), the conflict with militaristic dingoes(!), and some sort of cult led by a guy with a can-opener for an arm. The greatest of all, however, was the sadly short-lived villain Enerjak, who wore an awesome Aztec-inspired suit and tried to dissolve Knuckles' molecules. Pretty impressive for a kiddy comic villain.

Long after I stopped reading, they introduced a new girlfriend character for Sonic (What? Another one?), and she was an annoying bitch. I do believe she was shot later. As I have been informed by my colleague, she was shot in the heart. And lived. Like Duke, only being far more annoying.

Thus teaching children an important lesson: Being shot in the heart is far from fatal.

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