Ask Ian XXVII - Let's Try that Again

Forum devoted to Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Universe and the entire Sonic line by Archie Comics.

Postby Ian Flynn » Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:44 pm

What have I gotten myself into? HAHAHA! Okay, let's get down to it:

Question #1 wrote:What made you want to change Anti-Sonic into Scourge?

That was more of the brainchild of editor Mike Pellerito. I was just one of the many folks involved in the creative process.

Question #2 wrote: Would the Archives series ever reach issues, such as 124 or so?

I'm pretty sure that's the plan.

Question #3 wrote:How long were you planning to bring back the Iron King and Queen as major villains?

They'll be the big baddies for the duration of the "Iron Dominion Saga." After that, like the Suppression Squad before them, we'll give them a rest and see how fans react to them. I hope they're enjoyed - I really want to do more with them.

...unless you're asking on how long plotting and pre-planning was. In that case, the version of the pitch (or "springboard") that most closely matches what you're reading today is dated May of last year. The original springboard was actually one of many post-#200 concepts and it was the one Mike Pellerito picked for us to run with.

Question #4 wrote:Were you inspired by Sonic The Comics depiction of Robotnik going insane when you decided to make Eggman go fruit-loops?

Not in the slightest. STC-Robotnik was a completely different rendition. If I recall correctly, STC-Robotnik was far more taciturn and fatalistic. He just gave up on everything. STH-Robotnik is much less lucid and played up for more laughs.

Then again, I only read through most (I think?) of STC once. My memories of that series are sketchy at best.

Question #5 wrote:Why did you decide to make Lightning Lynx the Destructix member to get more focus over the other members?

That was more of a happy coincidence than part of the original plan. I'll get into the deeper thinking behind the construction of the "Iron Dominion Saga" later, but I will say that Lightning's involvement made sense in the context of the story.

Question #6 wrote:Will "ask Ian" be a regular thing again or is this one-month-one-shot?

I've got no idea. I'm hoping I can maintain it for November. Let's not get too ahead of ourselves here.

Question #7 wrote:Dimitri's not stuck in "Limbo" like some other charecters is he?

He is, but I definitely have a clear idea of where he'll end up. So you can expect a resolution before too long; just don't lose sleep waiting for it to happen.

Question #8 wrote:Will we be getting any hints on the next few Sonic universe arcs?

Once the "Iron Dominion Saga" wraps up, I'll ask da boss if I can mercilessly tease y'all like I did last year.

Question #9 wrote:Do the deity / demigod figures (Anceint Walkers, Feist, Mogul etc.) exist in the parallel universes, or is there only one?

Given that they seem to be "lesser gods" and most seem to have rather mortal origins, I'd assume there are alternate versions out there.

Question #10 wrote:How Far in advance do you plan out your arcs?

The stories for 2010 have more or less been pitched and approved. I've got a general idea for how to start out 2011, and I've got a loose idea on how I want to proceed from there. I try not to endear myself to any one plan too much. Things have a way of changing when I least expect/want them to.

Question #11 wrote:Prior to your tenure as writer, what was your personal favorite arc in the Sonic Comic?

The "Dark Vengeance" arc and its cross-over into STH#56. I know most folks didn't like / couldn't make sense of #56, but the sheer scope of the whole story was great to me.

Question #12 wrote:Are you bring back villains Mogul, Naugus, Scourge and Fiona Fox back soon?

Yes. Now - how soon is "soon?"

Question #13 wrote:How are other nations, such as the Federation are dealing with the Iron Dominion or going to?

They really haven't had much time to react. The Iron Dominion's take-over of the Eggman Empire has been extremely quick and recent. That said, the pressence of the Empire hasn't changed much, so they're probably just riding it out and seeing what comes of it.

Question #14 wrote:How come you left Mogul, Naugus, and Fiona Fox out for a while?

I've been busy with the Iron Dominion. Why would I want to over-saturate the villain ranks while I'm trying to revamp the current set?

Question #15 wrote: What other comics inspire and perhaps influence your work? / How do you come up with names for new characters?

I'm merging these two since they're directly related this time around. The vast majority of the new characters for this arc come from the Dragon Kingdom, which is a mishmash of Chinese, Japanese, and general South-East Asian cultures and mythologies. A lot of that thinking was influenced by Marvel's "Iron Fist" comics (which I'm woefully behind on). The Brides' names are influenced by the honorific names from that series - like Fat Cobra, King of Orphans, etc.

I also wanted the Brides' names to reflect the abilities and philosophies of their clans. The Yagyu were already portrayed as thieves, so their leader was the Bride of Rich Nights. The Bride of the Conquering Storm was on the frontline when the Iron Dominion came to New Megaopolis. You'll get the rest in time.

Question #16 wrote:What do you think of the new information Penders has released on everyone's favorite walrus?

Not even worth mentioning. There was absolutely no canonnical build-up to Rotor's sexual preference, regardless of what one of the writers might have intended at some point. It's a interesting piece of behind-the-scenes trivia, but it has no bearing on the book.

Question #17 wrote:Back in StH 200, I was blown away when Doctor Eggman snapped and his Black and Red eyes were revealed. My question is how did you manage to get SEGA to approve that?

We pitched it in the same vein as Dr. Robotnik's death in STH#50 and Sonic's defeat in STH#175 - this is a temporary thing, and the status quo will be returned "shortly."

Question #18 wrote:Antoine and Sonic's banter seems to have reappeared quite suddenly (which is simply odd, not in any way unwelcome.) Is there a specific reason for that?

Because it was a fun element between them that seemed to just evaporate. It's another one of those old school elements I want to bring back because it's fun.

Question #19 wrote:How did Lien-Da overload Dimitri's system without visibly touching anything?

The "camera position" of that shot was specifically directed so that you don't see what she's doing. You can't. Dimitri never saw it coming, and neither did you. In print it does come across as a little more jarring than I had envisioned, but you get the idea - Lien-Da disabled Dimitri. Now, I could've devoted more time to Lien-Da finding a device (or stick), but then we would've had less time for Lien-Da's thinking, her interactions with Dimitri, or the revelations of the fate of the DEL.

Question #20 wrote:Sonic and Tails are working as partners a lot recently, even for them (once again, in no way unwelcome.) Is there a reason for this as well?

Sonic and Tails are one of the most iconic duos in our generation's media. They should've been doing more together long before I got on the book.

Question #21 wrote:Given that you have been doing a lot of cleaning house and removing characters that weren't contributing much to the comic, what are you doing to make sure the new elements and figures you are introducing won't follow the same path?

Two ways:

1) Purpose. I'm trying to have a very specific job or reason for each of the new characters. Conquering Storm put a new face on the rapidly expanding Dragon Kingdom lore. Each of the Brides will serve as an immediate figure head and focus for the clans rather than having to bring in Lackey #457 with a name, background, purpose, etc. The other new character for this year . . . I'll get into that later.

2) Grouping. I think one of the problems of the abundance of the characters in the past were that they weren't clearly catagorized. They kind of shifted, or their teams had very little clear differences with the others. I see it as organizing our toys: when we want to do Dragon Kingdom stories, we have these characters. When we want to do Downunda stories, we have these characters. It helps keep the narrative clear and the over-all world lore managable.

Question #22 wrote:Since you've been revisiting older plot points for current stories like the Dragon Kingdom and it's denizens, would you ever consider doing something else- such as the mutates? We haven't seen them since #70 and it just seems wasteful to know there are these giant monstrosities all over Mobius, but they're barely ever around.

The mutates seemed to be more of a lingering memory of the Forgotten Wars than a viable source of story fodder. To date, I think we've seen ....two?....mutates: Eddie and that giant combra-thing in the temple. Oh, and that squid-thing that exploded but teleported Snively into space. Yeah. But, hey, maybe I can come up with something. Maybe I'll have one eat all the Nerbs SO DUBS WILL LET THE TOPIC DROP.

Question #23 wrote: I know you're trying to avoid Deus Ex Machina alot and made access to the Master Emerald & Chaos Emeralds limited, but doesn't it seem strange to you that in the entire 15+ years of the comic's history that we have not once had a single super transformation during an anniversary issue?

That just means we're going to have to make the one milestone Super-transformation all the more memorable, won't it?

Question #24 wrote:How does the ranking system in the Eggman Empire's DEL work? More specifically, would the Grand Master of the Echidna DEL in New Megaopolis (Lien-Da, and previously Dimitri) have more power than the Grand Masters of other Legions (like the Platypus Legion in Downunda), or would they be equal in power/sway?

A Grandmaster is a Grandmaster, just as any soldiers of identical rank are equals. That said, keep in mind that Eggman (usually) is running the show. Reason was never a strong part of his portfolio, and even less so now.

Question #25 wrote: I know this was asked a while back, and I'm not sure if the answer has changed any, but do you have any plans to include back-up stories in SU this upcoming year or beyond? / Again, not sure if you can/want to answer, but can we expect the next few SU arcs to be 4 issues, or will they be shorter?

Another merger! No, the back-ups will remain exclusive to STH while the four-issue arcs will continue in SU. It helps keep their identities separate. Each book as their own "feel" that way. That said, you can expect a few full-issues of STH too.

Question #26 wrote:What's Dulcy been up to?

Stuff. Stuff I'm not writing about right now. Because...stuff.

Question #27 wrote:What does Queen Alicia do in her spare time?

Looking after Max is pretty much a full-time job.

Question #28 wrote:Anything in the works for Saffron?

Not right now, no. That isn't to say she's being written out! Just that she's not getting any real focus right now.

Question #29 wrote:Which character is the most fun to write: Bean, Marine, or insane Eggman?

Bean. He's also the hardest. Nutzoid Eggman is fun, but he's temporary. Marine (I begrudingly admit) is fun in the context of the characters she's driving up the wall, but she's at least somewhat grounded in reality. Bean is pretty much where I can ignore all sense and have unbridadled fun. That said, now that I've had such success with him, everyone expects him to be funny now. Funny is hard to write.

Question #30 wrote: I remember hearing that Omega was supposed to be used for #175 but mandates at the time wouldn’t allow it or something. Forgive me if you can’t answer this or you have in an older FAQ but I’m dieing to know: what would have been Omega’s role in #175 if you were allowed to use him?

In the very, very early drafts for that year, "Order from Chaos" wasn't even on the table, so Tommy was still alive. STH#175 would've started out about the same, only Omega would've been the one to assault Freedom HQ. His first act would've been to fling Tommy into the air and blast him like a skeet. Then he'd get into a rather brutal fight with Bunnie and eventually square off against Sonic. He wouldn've been one of Eggman's top enforcers until we got around to the Omega/Gamma story.

Obviously, things went a little differently.

Question #31 wrote:Without getting too specific, can we expect to see more United Federation City-States in the future, like ones from the games (Soleanna, Unleashed locations, etc.)?

I definitely want to name-drop/reference them. We'll see.

Question #32 wrote:Will we ever see a Sonic Universe arc that features a villain? Or even just an issue or two?

The beautiful thing about SU is its freedom. I'll see if I can't tease y'all later on.

Question #33 wrote:Back in the day. You did a feature where you asked us for feedback about the series. You mentioned that some of our feedback would be taking into account in the future. Have you already started incorporating our feedback in the current arc or is it still on the way?

I think a lot of the more general sentiments I could address would be coming about now. It hasn't always been easy appeasing both the fandom and upper management, but given that reactions are still largely positive, I think I'm doing an OK balancing act.

Question #34 wrote:Have you ever thought about bring characters in from the DIC cartoons or the sonic ova?

About the only DiC character I can think of that would warrant any attention would be Griff or Ari, and I'm not really interested in them. I'm no fan of AoStH, so we can rule any of them out (aside from the Badnik Trio), and anything from Sonic Underground and the OVA are officially off-limits as per SEGA.

Question #35 wrote:When did you decide to change the iron queen from dark magic to technomagic?

I wouldn't call it some much of a change as a refinement. Her powers were pretty vague in her one previous appearance and could be adapted to the technomage angle easily enough. Making her a technomage gives her a nice balance between other big baddies (i.e. Eggman tech vs. Naugus's magic), and it allowed us to make her a direct threat to some of the heroes. Nothing amps up a villains credentials like making the fight personal.

Question #36 wrote:How would you summarize your Dr. Eggman's personality (pre-insanity, of course), and what inspires the way that you write him?

In a way, he's childlike. He sees the world in a certain, often simplistic way and insists the world conform to his vision. His cruelty, in part, stems from his misunderstanding of the rest of the world. In his mind he knows what's best and has his plan and anything or anyone who gets in his way (e.g. everyone) is personally getting in the way of "Progress." Another way to look at it is that he's so far beyond everyone in his genius that he simply cannot think like the rest of us. It isn't necessarily that everyone is innately inferior (that's a part of it too), but he just can't conceptualize anything beyond his world view.

In terms of approaching the character, I'd draw a parallel to Paul Dini/Mark Hamil's approach to the animated Joker. He's a big, colorful, over-the-top character that we can really enjoy. He's funny, and his antics are entertaining. And then with just the slightest twist, we get the darker side of him and he's scary. I think he's all the more menacing because - since he's so approachable - we feel personally betrayed. We as readers welcome him in as a clown and are unnerved when we found the character we enjoyed is someone we should hate. All this lets me merrily dance on the line of doing a fun kids' book while keeping him interesting as a primary antagonist.

Question #37 wrote:What are your thoughts on doing stories set in the past at some point in the future, like more 'Tales of the Great War' or a look at the forgotten war with the Order of Ixis?

Personally? As a Sonic fan? DO WANT. I'd love to devote hundreds of pages to exploring all the past lore. As the professional writer? It's high on the list of what I'd like to do, but it will be very hard to do it. The book is called "Sonic the Hedgehog," and the vast majority of the readership wants his latest adventures - not the adventures of his parents, grandparents, or completely unrelated characters of the distant past. SEGA has a pretty heavy say on the matter too; heavier in some respects than previously, sad to say.

Keep your fingers crossed for the day when we get to tell those stories. I know I will.

Question #38 wrote:I know you don't look at fan material to avoid being accused of intellectual theft, but how do you feel about the reverse? That is, fans using ideas that you specifically have added to the mythos. I know some writers really hate it, and others find it flattering.

I'm not sure I follow. Do you mean new ideas I added to the book being used in the newest fan-fic/art/etc? I'd be pleased as punch. It means what I'm contributing is being accepted and enjoyed. I'd be more concerned if there was zero fan-material spun out of the "Iron Dominion Saga." That would mean all this time and effort went unloved. If there's a Monkey Khan-inspired fan-character floating around out there, I'll know I did my job right.

Question #39 wrote:If you had to cast Nathan Fillion for voice actor for any character on the cast, who would it be?

The esteemed Mr. Fillion has shown he can do a character that's thoughtful, soft-spoke and tender who can easily become direct, commanding, and even a little intimidating. With that in mind, I'd have to say Rotor, especially pre-Endgame. Now, if he were to give it a shot, I think he could apply the same nuance to make a positively fascinating Robotnik.

Ah, but no. Discussing it with Kureejii Lea after a rousing evening of "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," we figured it out: Nathan Fillion is Rob o' the Hedge.

Question #40 wrote: Have your attitudes about certain characters changed between reading them as a fan, and writing them as an author years later?

Definitely. The two that spring to mind first are Sonic and Amy. As a reader, Sonic almost never held my interest. I warmed up to him over time, but as the writer - having to put some thought behind the devil-may-care, I-do-what-I-want mentality and making it make sense both to me and in the comic's world made him far more interesting.

Amy, on the other hand, had so little to her going in that it was basically like encountering the character for the first time. I'd like to think that during my run I've shown she's a spirited, devoted girl capable of great feats and great heroism, but who is ultimately hamstrung by her fixation on Sonic. So in a sense I'm validating the clingy "Sonniku kawaii!!!" we get from her SegaSonic counterpart.

Question #41 wrote: Looking back do you wish that you could do some of your past stories differentially?

Maybe not whole comics, but certain moments, maybe some general story progression. But we did what we did at those times for a reason, and we did them well. No regrets.

Question #42 wrote:Are we ever going to find out the fate of the original Lara-Su, who was last seen in issue#109?

I think I can safely say "No." It's hard enough to sell the "What If Future" premise without it being an "Alternate What If Future." She went back to her time with Julie-Su and fought Knuckles.

Question #43 wrote:Any plot ideas for the "Elemental Wars" mentioned back in SU #8? (yes or no will do.)

Yeah, kinda-sorta.

Question #44 wrote:A while I back, I had asked you what King Max had meant in his statement "Yes, I suppose.." from STH #178. I recall that you left us with half of an answer to that. Any new developments concerning this?

Not as soon as I'd hoped, sadly.

Question #45 wrote:Have you ever written a script where the artists went somewhere completely different from what you had in mind?

All the time. Tracy especially has done a few scenes completely differently than I envisioned. I'd say 9.5 times out of 10, it's for the better. (That 0.5 time is me being too clingy to my idea). A more recent example comes from STH#203-204 and Steven Butler's rendition of "Iron Khan." In the script, I called for the same look Khan had when he was last mind controlled: the same, just with energy-washed-out-eyes. Steven did something much, much cooler. And Matt Herms added a new set of colors to make him cooler still. And I was very, very happy.

Question #46 wrote:Any ideas for a return to sonic x?

If SEGA would let us, sure. Until then, no can do.

Question #47 wrote:If so will we see El Gran Gordo?

In continuity? Never. In "Off Panel?" Yes. Oh-ho-ho-ho yes.

Question #48 wrote:I'm curious about the offhand comments made by Vector and Ray in SU #9 about detective work being an important part of being a Chaotix member. Was this just a small homage to the SegaSonic Chaotix, or was this the beginnings of a retcon?

A little of Column A, a little of Column B. The fact that the ArchieSonic Chaotix were never really detectives is something we're kind of letting be the elephant in the room. They're detectives (sorta?) now. Like when they investigated Rouge and Fiona, remember?

Question #49 wrote:Since Sonic's parents and the other formerly-roboticized mobians spent a decade in their roboticized state, does that mean that they're still physically the ages they were when they were first roboticized?

Yes. Unless I'm told to say otherwise later, it makes no sense to me that they would age as robots. The whole point of robotization (or at least in part) was to buy time for the sick. If age and disease had one-to-one correlations, then Jules would've been dead a while ago.

Question #50 wrote: Is Eggman's current bout of insanity in the comics part of a larger plan to bring his personality closer to the one he has in the Sega games, where Eggman isn't so much a cruel dictator as much as he is an childish instigator?

Yes and no. It is meant to pull him a little more in line with the childish goofiness of his SegaSonic counterpart, but I'm not going to water him down completely to that level. SegaSonic-Eggman seems to be on a slippery slope towards becoming Sonic's King Bowser - a threat only to get the plot moving, and then very soft around the edges. ArchieSonic-Eggman is still going to have his dark edge. I don't think I could stomach him otherwise.
Ian Flynn
Posts: 5837
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:11 pm

Postby Ian Flynn » Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:29 am

Had to break it up to post it all - yipes!

Question #51 wrote:Ever consider using Paladin Team Sigma-Alpha 2 in any capacity with Station Square, or does Team Dark really take their place and they are just phased out?

Oh, I have plans for SA2. Hopefully they'll get editorial approval. Fingers crossed!

Question #52 wrote:Do you plan ever write your own Sonic Special?

Sadly, it looks like the Super Specials (or any 48-pager for that matter) are not an option right now.

Question #53 wrote:Are we going to see more devellopment for Blaze and Silver? Blaze only appeared in SU1 and Silver was knocked out for almost 2 issues...

Blaze and Silver are in the tricky position of being the new hotness for SEGA and they're not too sure on how much they want us using them. Silver was conked out for most of M30YL to avoid having to deliberate over his every little action. I want to do more with them, it's just a question of when my hands get untied.

Question #54 wrote:Why did you create Perfect Tikhaos?

Because it was fun.

Question #55 wrote:Sega has allowed the comic to use certain recent-game characters in certain ways, and some have barely appeared in the comic at all. Do they keep tight reins on the few characters/plotlines from older games that haven't yet appeared in the comic?

It varies from character to character, issue to issue, day to day. What is perfectly fine at one moment is suddenly not the next.

Question #56 wrote:Will there be any chance of seeing the Moebius version of the Iron Queen?

I wouldn't rule it out completely. There's a lot of other Moebian things I want to get to first, though.

Question #57 wrote:In #196, Super Scourge used some form of an energy blast attack against the Freedom Fighters and the Suppression Squad to throw them off him and against Sonic out in Moebius' forest. Is there a specific name for this attack?

Nope! Not until Super Sonic gets such a named move in-game.

Question #58 wrote:Will any more classic characters (particularly pre-50 such as Badniks) get the "iron queen treatment" and become prominent characters/villains or at least appear in a larger capacity than they have?

I don't plan for anything as extensive as Iron Queen's treatment, no. The Badnik Trio are where I want them right now, and I've already said Naugus would be tended to at some point. Aside from them, nobody really springs to mind as a viable revamp option. Except maybe Spawnmower.

Question #59 wrote:If milestones were 48 page specials, what else would you have written in issues 175 and 200?

Wow, a whole extra 26 pages to play with there? I suppose I'd spend more time on the teams and character interactions. Give the secondary cast some bigger moments to shine; maybe spend a little more time on the denumont. Ah, if only...

Question #60 wrote:Why SEGA won't let Archie use the Black Arms? They're pretty much all dead in the games.

Let's rephrase that to "Why won't SEGA let Archie use _______?" and I will answer with "*shrugs* Your guess is as good as mine."

Question #61 wrote:What made you decide to bring MK and the Iron Queen back?

I'll get more into the deeper thinking behind this current arc once it's done, but suffice it to say: they were wells of untapped potential.

Question #62 wrote:How many issues are you guys ahead?

Not nearly enough. MUST WRITE MORE SONIC!

Question #63 wrote:Will we see physical representation of the fourth clan? To elaborate Shinobi-Espio, Yagyu-Bat ninjas, Raiju-Lightning Lynx and Conquering Storm and 4th clan-???.

Unless something very-last-second and huge happens behind the scenes, we will be seeing each of the clans before the "Iron Dominion Saga" is through.

Question #64 wrote:I know this is a weird question, but are Bunnie's robotic limbs magnetic? I remember an old comic where Rotor de-magnetized her somehow but I don't know if its been retconned or if Nate Morgan's upgrade made them magnetic again.

I'm not sure, honestly. If I recall correctly, only ferros (iron-based) metals are magnetic. Now, whether her replacement limbs are ferros or not I have no idea. I'd need to read into the viablility of it. It may just boil down to the tried-and-true "Cartoon Metal is Magnetic. All of it."

Question #65 wrote:I know you might have been asked this a lot, but any (immediate) plans for Lupe and the Wolf Pack?

Yes. Fingers crossed things go according to plan.

Question #66 wrote:Do you have issues or find it weird answering questions related to storylines from before you became head writer? I ask this because some of these questions are about events prior to issue #160, and you're trying to interpret/put your own spin on events you didn't start.

I don't mind them too much since I've heard a lot of the stories from behind the scenes and can relate what I've been told, but it's all second-hand information at best. My misgivings comes from the fact I wouldn't want to lead anyone astray.

Question #67 wrote:Is there any particular reason why Mogul isn't getting involved with any of the other villains' plots to take over Mobius? I mean, I understand not wanting to rehash Darkest Storm, but I'd think he'd do something to respond to all this.

Except in the latter half of the "Mogul Rising" arc, he explicitly stated he wasn't going to be a direct contender anymore.

Question #68 wrote: Will you ever readdress the whole issue of Mathias that you brought up in your character Q&A, or is he just going to remain relegated to "deceased character?"

Matthias falls under the general catagory of "The Brotherhood" which ranks very low on my priorities. Within the ranks for the Brotherhood, he's lower still given he's had one appearance. (Albeit that one was probably more interesting than all of Sojouner's screetime combined)

Question #69 wrote:Since Lightning Lynx has the gift of super speed, does this mean the rest of the Raiju clan, Conquering Storm included, also have this ability?

No, the rest of the Raiju Clan are just ninja-speedy. Lightning's abilities have a little more to them, which I'll get to . . . eventually.

Question #70 wrote:What is your view in terms of the multiverse being, as well as alternate realities, a form of time travel?

I see time-travel in the context of the multiverse in the same way you relate squares and rectangles: all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. That is to say that the multitude of alternate futures are indeed different zones and part of the multiverse, but zone-hopping does not necessarily perclude time-travel. Therefore, futures like MxYL and Silver's time are both definitely the future and only possibly the future at the same time.

Question #71 wrote: Can we assume Anarchy Beryls just look like pre-7-only Chaos Emeralds or is there is a specific difference in look you had in mind?

Yes, you can assume that. That was my thinking.

Question #72 wrote:If there was enough support for it, would you do an SU arc based solely on the antics of Bean? :P

Sure, but it would be my last arc ever. Doing four issues of Bean straight would melt my brain.

Question #73 wrote: My question is how does one balance epic story-telling and constant proof-reading of your potential plots for the story with everyday normal life?

I'll have to get back to you on that one once I figure it out myself.

Question #74 wrote:If you didn't get the job as the head writer of the Sonic Comic series, would you then have become open to the other opportunities within the series i.e. penciller, editor in chief e.t.c. e.t.c.

Nah. I don't have the artistic chops to do the art, let alone keep up with the kind of deadlines the pros do. And I was totally inexperienced going in, so I would've been a disasterous choice for editor. I'm quite happy with what I got and where I am.

Question #75 wrote:Mogul, especially in his most recent appearances, seems to have become a more "grey" character (I'm assuming the emerald in his possession is just a coincidence). We know he hates Sonic, but would he team up to help him against a greater evil (for example, the Iron Queen is about to take control of Mobius)? Or would he just wait until the scenario passes and strike?

It all depends on the situation. Mogul might fight on the side of the angels if it suits his interests of entertains him, but I think it far more likely he'd just sit back and laugh at the ensuing chaos.

Question #76 wrote:I know Rotor is a hot topic lately in this Q&A for obvious reasons, but did the fallout from Penders' revelation make you want to do anything new with Rotor?

Okay, first off, there's "fallout" over this? Granted, Mr. Penders laid a great deal of the groundwork for the series and was one (if not the) most influencial writers on the book, but he hasn't had any involvement with the series since #159. The only person who might've known his "Rotor is gay" plans would've been Mike Pellerito, and if he did, he didn't share it with me. I found out when everyone else did. Gay-Rotor is just like his plans to continue M25YL - nice ideas from a former creator, but ultimately without merit or any bearing on the book.

Sorry, derail aside - no. I know where I want to take Rotor, and he's well on his way there.

Question #77 wrote:Will the Forty Fathoms Freedom Fighters ever interact with the main cast again, or are they doomed to one-off joke stories?

I really want to bring them back into the mix as a viable (if perhaps punny) set of characters, but it's really hard to do when 99% of the cast is landlocked and the main character can't swim.

Question #78 wrote:Will you, Dub, Tracy, and/or Mike ever appear in Off-Panel?

No. I repeat, emphatically, no I think everyon on staff is in agreement that part of what made the old Off Panels....well....lame....was that they became office in-jokes where the comic characters were the butt of the joke if they got any focus. No, the new and improved Off Panel is 100% comic material. The most you'll see of us is references to the physical script.

Question #77 wrote:Will every arc in Sonic Universe end with a preview of the next arc like in SU#4 and SU#8?

Nope. "Echoes of the Past" and the following arc will be self-contained.

Question #78 wrote:Have you played the new Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympics game?

Yes, and I love it. (Nevermind it's kind of fun to have a Sonic game based out of where I had my honeymoon). It improved just about everything from the original, the Dream Events are better than ever, and I love the cameo boss battles. Additionally - Sonic-themed Mii costumes? Hilarious in their horridness.

Question #79 wrote:Was the Black Chaos Emerald a fake emerald created by the Knuckles tribe in order to keep Chaos contained?

I'm planning on maybe setting something up with that next year. I haven't pitched the idea yet, so, fingers crossed.

Question #80 wrote:When a game related element can't appear in the comic is it usually due to marketing from Sega's end or a conflict with the CCA?

SEGA. I've never run into an issue with the CCA.

Question #81 wrote:Have you ever had to get an ok to answer a question that we've asked before?

I've run a few of them by Mike to make sure I wouldn't regret it later.

Question #82 wrote:Why did you decide to have Bunnie and Antoine get married as oppose to just leaving them as a dating couple?

The two of them had been through so much, I felt it was owed to them. Also, it set up a nice, happy, almost utopian feeling which was to be utterly destroyed in STH#175.

Question #83 wrote:Is it possible for the Video Game version of Mecha Sonic to show up in the comics? (For those who dont know, Mecha Sonic is the fan name for the Sonic Robot that is the Boss in "Sky Sactuary Zone" on Sonic and Knuckles)

I'm pretty sure that version was used as the basis for roboticized Sonic in "Mecha Madness." I dunno, I might trot it out for something at some point.

Question #84 wrote:Will Nic be reappering anytime soon?

Not if I can help it.

Question #85 wrote:Something I've always wondered. Rob'O the Hedge was a sentry for Albion, is he even aware of the city's demise and of the displace Echidnas that now live there?

The odd thing about Rob's guard duty was that he didn't even know Albion was there to begin with. I want to gently massage a retcon in there to have it make a little more sense, but until I can sort it all out, his relation to the Albion massacre is up in the air right now.

Question #86 wrote:How old are the Future Freedom Fighters?

The oldest members are in their early twenties (Jacque, Belle, Lara-Su, Argyle), Skye and Melody are in their early teens, and Manik and Sonia are barely five.

Question #87 wrote:How will you work out the entire thing with Silver being the same in the present and the non-canon future?

Think of it as multiple paths going from Point A to Point B. We know that some event in the present (Point A) has a direct affect on Silver's time (Point B). The intervening years are just different ways that the events of Point A fall into Point B.

Question #88 wrote:Lien-Da said she didn't want to risk the innocent children. So why did she launch a missile at a platform they were standing on?

She didn't want to risk them, but that scenario and time-frame really didn't give her many options. Well...aside from "not shoot," but she wasn't going to consider that one when her target was right there.

Question #89 wrote:Will scourge come back soon?

No, he's still on hiatus for now. I've got plenty of other stuff lined up.

Question #90 wrote:is scourge older then sonic?

I was baffled by this question until I realized Sonic spent a year (roughly) in space. Since Scourge didn't experience that time-lapse, then I suppose Scourge would be older. Unless, of course, his mutation off the Master Emerald brought him in sync with Sonic. Why would it do that? MAGIC.

Question #91 wrote:are fiona and scourge still in love?

I guess if you want to call it "love," maybe. We've yet to see either of them, let alone their plans or how they react to each other. We don't know yet.

Question #92 wrote:How successful has Sonic Universe been far? Is it in any danger of being canceled yet?

Too early to say one way or the other. The fan mail seems to be in favor of it, though.

Question #93 wrote:We already know what Shadow and Hope's relationship is like and you've already hinted at what Hope and Omega's relationship is. In your opinion how do you see the relationship between Rouge and Hope?

At best, awkward. At worst, antagonistic. As worldly-wise as Hope has become, she's still an optimist and Rouge is much more of a realist. Hope is always about being supportive and loving, and Rouge enjoys playing mind games and being a I don't see the two of them getting along all that great, and we've only seen them on their good days. That isn't to say Rouge doesn't like Hope - it's just that Rouge isn't a nice person, so she doesn't show her fondness in nice ways.

Question #94 wrote:Does Magitek count as dark magic, we know Regina is evil but is their anything inherintly evil about her art itself?

The jury's out on that one. The Overland made it a crime punishable by death, but they haven't been portrayed as the most reasonable group of folks, either.

Question #95 wrote:Are we going to see more of G.U.N. HQ in the future like how big it is or what facilities they have?

If I can make it pertinent to the story and interesting, you bet.

Question #96 wrote:Are there any more adventures planned for the Future Freedom Fighters?

Well....there's certainly stories I want to tell, and the fan mail seems to be largely positive. But M30YL also resulted in certain new ground rules from SEGA that are having consequences I don't think they even realized. So right now I'm brainstorming work-arounds for the present-day stories. Once I think the "now" is well in hand, then I'll start pondering on the "then."

Question #97 wrote:In several of your previous Ask Ian Forums, Silver mentioned that he has a master. I'm positive that you wouldn't say anything if I asked who he was, so instead, is there any chance that we'll get to see either Silver's time period, his master, or both in the comics?

Keep your fingers crossed for 2010.

Question #98 wrote:Do you have any plans to bring the Xorda back into the comics anytime soon?

Nope. They're conveniently at war with the Black Arms for the foreseeable future.

Question #99 wrote:In issue 186, it was hinted that Rouge has some scheme concerning Knuckles, but we haven't seen or heard about such a thing since then (In fact, Rouge and Knuckles haven't even appeared in a scene together since). How will this plan have any importance to the series, if you guys haven't already scrapped the idea?

She laid out her plan pretty clearly in STH#165 - she wants to be him to be her romantic interest. Granted, her efforts to "acquire" him make the whole scenario anything but romantic, but that's part of the fun. The problem with this subplot is it's meant to be a very slow build, and it's made even slower by both events taking precedent in the comic and the fact I don't want to go too far while SEGA seems to waffle over her being interested in Knux or Shadow.

There's definitely a plan for them, and I do know where I want it to go. It's just not playing out as quickly or compactly as I had hoped.

Question #100 wrote:In the veins of the comic's past of explaining every little retcon. How would you write off the Iron Queen's old appearance depicting her with her eyes covered in shadow and pink skin/fur if forced?

....allergic reaction to shellfish she ate the night before? It's just how it happened to be portrayed in the art at the time.

Question #101 wrote:Does Magitek have a role in the comic outside of the Iron Queen or is it still up in the air at this moment?

Right now, it's Iron Queen's schtick, so I don't want to wear it out too quickly.

Question #102 wrote:Which is your favorite villain to write for, and why?

I suppose it's a toss-up between Mogul, Iron Queen and Eggman. Mogul is just my personal fan favorite, so writing him at any point is an indulgence. He's smooth, he's smug, and he can have this dominating presence without having to go overboard. Eggman is the total opposite, which makes him so much fun. Iron Queen teeters on the line between the two extremes, and being so new, she's a refreshing change of pace.

Question #103 wrote:Is Sonic Universe turning out to be everything you wanted?

It is, which is something of a problem. I wanted room to tell more stories at a less hectic pace. I got it, but now that I have room to tell those stories, I'm coming up with even more stories, so now I need a third book. Or fourth. It's feeding my addiction!

Question #104 wrote:Is Finitivus pretty much the new primary Knuckles villain since Dimitri is no longer?

Dr. Finitevus is more-or-less responsible for Locke's death and causing the current rift between Knuckles and his family (even if it's mostly perceived on his end). Yeah, I'd say he's top of the villain list.

Question #105 wrote:Would it be possible to get a list of game-based characters and significant elements (eg; locations from Sonic Unleashed) that are currently barred from being used in the comic?

No, sorry. Not out of any need for secrecy, but more because it isn't a set-in-stone list. What is objectionable now may be free game tomorrow, and (frustratingly enough) vice versa. We just play it by ear.

Question #106 wrote:I recall you saying in a previous 'Ask Ian' that you would be introducing two new characters, one of whom would be relatively 'game styled', with the other being more akin to the sort of designs seen mainly in the comic. My question regarding this is have we seen both of these characters yet? I've been assuming that Conquering Storm is one of them (the more game styled one), but am unsure on who the other would be. The reintroduced Iron Queen (might as well be new considering she had only a single prior appearance)?

Bride of the Conquering Storm is indeed one of them, but I saw her as more comic-styled in her design. The other character hasn't debuted yet, but when I did the initial concept art to pitch with the story arc, I was literally using a game sprite as reference, and one SegaSonic character in particular to inspire the design. I'll go into detail later.

Question #107 wrote:If you had to name 3 characters that you wish you could spend more time on for whatever reason, but can't at the moment, which characters would those be?

Oh... off the top of my head right this second... King Max, Archimedes and Tails.

Question #108 wrote:Are there any plans for any character redesigns in the foreseeable future?

I'm thinking of tinkering with a few, but nothing concrete. So, effectively, no.

Question #108 wrote: Is Merlin Prower going to be coming back into the scheme of things in 2010?

There were huge plans for Merlin in 2010, but SEGA axed them. Needed to re-write an entire subplot for an issue, and I'll have to heavily revise an entry or two in the encyclopedia now. Ah well, maybe later.

Question #109 wrote:About the Youtube references more specifically the first one did anyone higher up knew of you doing this before 205 came out or was it more "under the radar"?

I mentioned they were internet in-jokes, and that was that.

Question #110 wrote:Have you you received any flack, or trouble, from Archie because of the reference?

Nope. The only thing that I think might raise an eyebrow is "pingas," and I made a point of dilluting that one so it was "safe for consumption."

...great, now I've got "It's From the Show" stuck in my head.

Topic is open again. Have at it, folks.
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Postby JakeDaReaver » Sun Nov 15, 2009 4:11 am

1. So I remember reading that Eggman was supposed to be completely human now due to the Bem making him and Snively human forever somehow, yet he has a robotic arm in 205. Care to explain?

2. There's been some mention of a "Battlebird Armada" in the comics, but the armada thus far has been a no show. Is this something you plan to delve into later on after the Iron Dominion arc?

3. Speaking of birds, any chance that the Babylon Rouges are returning (hopefully not, since I find Jet aggravating)?
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Postby bsonic10 » Sun Nov 15, 2009 5:51 am

1) Based on one of your answers from this last session (Question #13), would it be safe to assume that most of Mobius and the Sub-Bosses know of Eggman’s defeat and the Iron Dominion’s takeover of the Eggman Empire, or is it the opposite and only certain people and places are aware?

2) Before you finish up the Iron Dominion arc will we learn or get hints why Lightning Lynx was banished from the Raiju Clan?

3) Will we be seeing what’s become of the Destructix and their reactions to Lightning Lynx’s departure from the team in or around 2010?
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Postby FairFieldFinder » Sun Nov 15, 2009 5:54 am

#1: What happened to Moebius after Scourge was arrested?

#2: It was revealed on Sonic Channel that Marine is a neat-freak. Do you have any plans on exploring this if she appears again?

#3: Is Commander Tower an Overlander or Human?
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Postby Blink » Sun Nov 15, 2009 6:26 am

1) How long do you intend to keep Espio evil for?

2) When did you first know you wanted to write for the comics?

3) Are there any sort of qualifications you need or does it ride on just talent alone?
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Postby Amir » Sun Nov 15, 2009 7:01 am

1. If SEGA let you, would you do a Sonic/NiGHTS crossover?

2. Ever think about experamenting with the "Dream World" idea shown in Sonic Shuffle?

3. If Sonic X is in an alternate reality to the Sonic Prime-verse (shown in SX #40) does that mean somewhere in the Prime-verse is a version of Cosmo and her race?
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Postby kryptyk » Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:42 am

1. Despite it's look this is meant to be one question:

The SA2 adaption started in #97-98 and Shadow didn't really appear again until #124 & he'd just been rescued by the Bem. So my question is what happened to him in the time between those issues? Did he somehow stop his descent into the atmosphere? And even if he did wouldn't he need to breathe? Or was Shadow in the Bem's care longer that it seems?

2. Gamma helped reprogram Omega to find himself a new purpose, but what would happen if he encountered Sonic now?

3. Since you rectonned a few things related to the DEL that fall in line with SEGA (i.e. Twilight Zone/Cage, Zoah mention), "if" you were ever to officially introduce the Nocturnus into the comic, would you be under SEGA mandate to include Lord Ix as well? The general feel here seems to be that he isn't too popular and wouldn't add anything to the villain roster other than a name.
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Postby Xeric » Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:21 pm

1 - You mentioned in question #108, you were thinking of tinkering with a few characters designs. Would this include the ridiculous amount of characters wearing Sonic's shoes? This being Bean, Sharps, Mach, Max and to some extent, Mighty(not sure if theirs others).

2 - What was the idea behind Ray's recent design? His design has changed several times throughout the comic. So will this one be sticking?

3 - Cream has been hinted several times by yourself on the board, and in the comic's offpanel section. If she is to appear, is her mother set to appear with her, or will we just have to wait and see?
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Postby theJcfreak » Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:02 pm

#1) What are some least favorite characters? AND MARINE DOESN'T COUNT.

#2) If you could cross Sonic over with anything Non-Sega, what universe would you use? Disney? Marvel? Star Wars?

#3) Any chance of your unused Other M scripts being released to the public?
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Postby Duuz Diz Din » Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:05 pm

1. What do you think of Shade from Chronicles? Personality wise and character wise I mean.

2. Can we ever hope to see an explanation as to how Hope managed to find a place within G.U.N.. especially considering her last name?

3. Ever think of telling the origins of Feist?
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Postby The KKM » Sun Nov 15, 2009 2:44 pm

OK, now three questions for you to just have fun.

First, the scenario- SEGA has decided to do a new cartoon. You're the new writer. The catch? You not only can use elements from all Sonic continuities, but are actually obliged to do so- you must use elements from other continuitites than only one.

The questions:
1- What would be the basic premise?
2-Who would be the basic characters, heroes and villains?
3- Imagining these three Fleetway villains are in-
Super Sonic

How, (in one or two lines per villain), would you write them?
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Postby Super Rayzor » Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:22 pm

Ian the Great wrote:In his mind he knows what's best and has his plan and anything or anyone who gets in his way (e.g. everyone) is personally getting in the way of "Progress."

This brings a question to my mind. I've read on Wiki once that Marvel did a what if story where Dr. Doom successfully conquered the world and it
was actually better with scientific advances, prosperity, etc. My question is what do you think a world where Eggman would actually win would look like? If this is too much or something forgive me.

2. Would we have to have Scourge appear if we were to revisit Moebius or could we have a Moebius-centric arc/story without him or even the SS for that matter?

3. In the incident that you, or any creative for that matter, were too accidentally divulge too much info where you were to go over the NDA even by a little, God forbid it, would said person automatically be fired or is there a three strikes rule or something that would give them some grace yet place them on very thin ice?
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Postby MegaHayzer » Sun Nov 15, 2009 4:55 pm

What is the current (Archie) canon on whether or not Sonic can swim? Can he or can't he?

If you had to do something more with say...Sally, what would you do?

And that question begs the question, do you have plans for Sally chara-devel in the future?
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Postby Mustachio » Sun Nov 15, 2009 4:56 pm

1. Any ideas yet on how your going to handle the milestone issues for Sonic Universe? Like #25? I only ask because a comic with such a broad scope can go anywhere for its anniversary issues and I was wondering if you been thinking about it.

2. Another one that is "forgive me if you rather not say" because I saw in a previous questions you have ideas for them but... how would you say Team Dark and Sigma Alpha 2's relationship would be like if they ever worked together (IIRC, Sigma Alpha 2 was xenophobic to Mobians or at least didn't like to be outstaged by them, maybe I'm wrong)?

3. It seems you been trying to world build lately with things like the Dragon Kingdom and Downunda. Any ideas kicking around for developing the northern pole of Mobius? I can think of lots of elements from the comic and games that could be touched upon (Rotor and his family, Bark, Arctic Freedom Fighters, Holoska, etc.).

Sorry for my questions being a bit wordy, thank you for your time. :D
Last edited by Mustachio on Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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