"Ask Ian" for DEC08 - Tis the Season to be Giving!

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"Ask Ian" for DEC08 - Tis the Season to be Giving!

Postby Ian Flynn » Sun Nov 30, 2008 12:15 am

You read the thread title right - I want you to give! This time, I'm asking you!

For the next five weeks I will be asking you a question, and I want your answers! And I mean real answers. Thoughtful answers. Replies that I can really sink my teeth into.

And these won't be "safe" questions - no "on a scale of great to awesome, how much epic-win am I?" No, I'll be looking for feedback both good and bad. (Insensitive comment removed by request.) I want honest, wordy, heart-felt answers on these. I'm also breaking my own rules here in that if there's someone not on BKC who wants to answer, you can post their answers here for them.

I'll accept answers to any of the questions at any point, but I'd really like to focus replies to the question of the week. Please keep debates to the rest of the forum. Like always, I want this to be an info-rich topic with as little distraction as possible. Besides, there's nothing to debate here - these are your personal opinions, and your opinion can't be wrong.

So let's get started!

Week #5 - What is the one question you want answered?

I'm not talking about your usual "Ask Ian" question. Those can get cryptic, teasing responses. They can even come up with the occasional "I don't know." I'm talking about those little holes in the continuity, or the unanswered questions of the series. Stuff that can be resolved in the book itself. What's one mystery of Mobius you want me to tackle at long last?

Previous Questions wrote:
    Week #1 - What is the best thing to have come about since STH#160?
    Week #2 - What is the worst thing to have come about since STH#160?
    Week #3 - What is the one thing you want most to see change?
    Week #4 - How has your experience been on This Side of Mobius?
    Week #5 - What is the one question you want answered?
Last edited by Ian Flynn on Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:06 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Postby GrandMasterGalvatron » Sun Nov 30, 2008 12:53 am

"Week #1 - What is the best thing to have come about since STH#160? "

DEFINITELY Sonic's attitude. It's refreshing to have at least one canon where Sonic is truly Sonic. He's impatient, arrogant, full of himself, and has a one liner for everything, yet still has a heart of gold. It's what I liked about Sonic back in the day, and it's a shame it's become scarce in the games now.

I think my favorite exchange has to be between Sonic and Enerjak. Enerjak got ticked off at Sonic for making fun of his name, and when he asks him if he's finished, Sonic just rattles off a list of even more names, and is then flung into a library. He still had a grin on his face he whole time.

That's the way I've always seen Sonic. Looks death in the eye and makes fun of it's mother.

Good on you guys for that!
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Postby LBD_Nytetrayn » Sun Nov 30, 2008 2:20 am

A number of things:

1) Consistent art that goes well with the storytelling.

2) A tone that's not too serious, but not too cartoony, either. A fine middle-ground.

3) Scourge and the Moebius stuff.

4) A nice re-establishing of the status-quo with New Mobotropolis, and bringing back the old Knothole HQ as well.

5) Bringing in more game elements. Star posts, the Special Zone, seven chaos emeralds, Bean & Bark. I don't think any of it effectively hurts what we've seen of those few things prior (those that we have, like the Zone of Silence and the Emeralds), and given their rarity, makes them more interesting. Someone having a Chaos Emerald now seems like a bigger deal than it did before.

6) Less forced shoehorning of other game elements. While I'd like everything to be as integrated as possible, if you can't fit something like Chronicles in, then I prefer the ATAP (Another Time and Place) approach.

7) A combination of the last two. See: Shadow. He has his background, the whole angsting over his forgotten past is done with, and you didn't have to shoehorn all the events of the game (somehow) in order to do it.

8) Egg Lobster.

9) Snively as Eggman's Mini-Me-- at least in attire. Finally, he actually looks like something more than the least common denominator.

10) Finally, things just overall feel like a less complicated mess. Long-running threads are fine, but some stuff I wonder if we ever would have seen a proper conclusion to.

What's best? Got me. I see it all working as a cohesive whole to make this a can't-miss book.

And I hope you don't mind-- at the very least, I can "store" the questions here until the next regular Ask Ian, but some answers to your last batch gave rise to new questions, and I don't trust my aging memory to hold them for an entire month:

IanPotto wrote:
Question #4 wrote:You said that you're going to act is if Sonic 06' already happened. Is anything in Sonic 06 at least going to be mentioned?


We might do the occasional sly nod, but otherwise no.


Might we ever see a timeline of sorts of which issues different games "happened" in between?

IanPotto wrote:
DUB INSANITY #4 wrote:What do you want Santa Claus to get you for christmas?


An old-timey furnace.

Gotta put that cole to use.


Poor Cole. What did the guy ever do to you?

IanPotto wrote:
Question #21 wrote:Since the Power Rings were created from the energy of the Chaos Emeralds, what's going to happen to them as a result of the Great Harmony?


Good question. I would think that the ambient energies or the Chaos Force would produce a few more, but they wouldn't be as abundant. Then there's those coming from the Lake of Rings in New Mobotropolis, but that's a completely different story.


Does this mean no rooftops lined with and streets filled with rings, like in the games? Does this mean my hopes of seeing a comic-canon utopia of tall buildings with star-decorated springboards will never come to pass, either?

IanPotto wrote:
Question #24 wrote:Metal Sonic's been showing up a lot recently, but hasn't been doing that much except being sent after Sonic as an attack hound. Are there other plans for him?


Not especially since that's what it's built for. If you want thinking-weapons with depth, look to Shadow, Gamma, Emerl or Omega. (Okay, Omega's arguable, but give me a chance with him first). Metal Sonic - in my mind - is ruined when you inject any kind of personality into him. It is a counter to Sonic, not just in speed and power, but on an emotional level. Sonic can't banter with it. Sonic can't frustrate, intimidate or enrage it. Where Sonic is full of humor - brimming with life - Metal Sonic is simply not. It is cold and efficient. I wouldn't even call it "ruthless" since that implies it has a concept of a measured response. That makes for a scarier foe to me.


So, nothing like the OVA, or the sort of Vegeta-ish "I must be better" thing?

IanPotto wrote:
Question #28 wrote:Does Shadow actually have someplace where he lives or is he nomadic ?


As an agent of G.U.N., Shadow is stationed somewhere in the United Federation's territories. We'll be getting a little more detail on that in Sonic Universe.


As merely suggesting that Metal Sonic and Mecha Sonic being in close proximity seems to fall into fan-created idea, I'm reluctant to ask, but-- can we see what kind of quarters, room, or whatever Shadow has sometime? I'm actually kind of curious to see what he has, versus Sonic's racecar bed and such.

Actually, there's a question for you-- if there's something we'd like to see explored, such as how Shadow lives when he's not putting Sonic's face in the ground, or something more GUN-centric, what's the best way of voicing that opinion without crossing the line into "fan-submission," as the Metal/Mecha thing seems to have done?

--LBD "Nytetrayn"
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Postby Toug » Sun Nov 30, 2008 2:45 am

I'll answer the question on two levels.

1) On the macro, I'm very excited that the book is honestly a great read for new readers. Even though you don't shy from delving into continuity, it's never too much. The tone of the book is very fun and enjoyable for younder readers. Yardly provides a solid, consistant art syle. All these factors add up to a fantastic package.
Sad was the time that I would all but activly discourage younger readers from picking the book up. It just seemed pointless. Nothing makes me happier than being able to reccomened Sonic to anyone that inquires.

2) On a more personal level, getting so many of the characters back to what they're supposed to be makes me pretty darn happy too.
Sonic is fun and cool again, instead of being flat and aloof.
Sally is confident and capable. No longer the stanger I saw her become.
Knuckles. Well... Knuckles has been fixed substantually. Not so much in character, but massivly in structure and situation.
These are characters I've been invested in for as long as I remember, and seeing them brought back to what I loved in the first place makes my heart smile.

... okay three things.

3) For one particular moment. Issue 175. It remains the best issue of the series. EVER. It was the moment you guys kicked my expectations over the edge and down a gorge. The suprisingly honest examination of the never-ending relationship between Sonic and Eggman was amazing. It made me see those two characters in a whole new light for the first time in.... well, ever. And that's no small task.
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Postby Doc Eggman » Sun Nov 30, 2008 5:25 am

The return of Eggman as a mainstream and competent threat's been nice.

But more than that, him as a character has been a blast to read. He's villainous, but he has his own personal life, flaws, and quirks that make him a unique person, and the candid looks at his life off the job have been just a treat.
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Postby FairFieldFinder » Sun Nov 30, 2008 5:27 am

The only comic I've read before #160 was an old Knuckles issue I found on ebay, but I'd have to say your best work I've seen was Enerjak: Reborn. So many plot twists and turns, and it even helped me get into fan-fic writing, along with a challenge made on a website by Spectre the Hechidnat. Some of the plot-holes and devices I'm sure you plan on using, I used to make my very first story. Like Eggman saying that he planned on using Enerjak to fuel his yet-to-be-revealed "big project." I revealed what the big project was in my own way. I won't say what it was since I'm sure it goes against the rules of no fanfiction.

This is unrelated to your work, but I and other fans, I'm sure, are very grateful for how you actually take the time to answer our questions about the Sonic universe.

So...we're going to have to wait until January for you to answer our questions, then?
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Postby Mr Saxon » Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:48 am

The work you've done on Scourge and the Anti-FF's is a personal fave point of mine. You've made them into actual characters that are fun to watch with their own personalities and quirks, no longer are they just the 'evil' twins who pop up every now and again with no impact to the story. Scourge is now a serious threat in his own right, not just as part of a team.

You've also made Moebius an actual world which can now be explored in great detail, with new characters such as Rosy who have instantly become massively popular after only their first appearance.
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Postby Tonberry2k » Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:22 am

The best thing since 160? Well...

You said no cop-out answers, but I really have to say that my interest in the book has been brought back. I used to buy it just because I owned the ones that came before it. I read them, but I wasn't really into them. They seemed to be getting well, stupid.
Since 160 we've seen a turn-around. Someone who isn't afraid to kill off a few minor characters, listens to and banters with the fans, and killed off Tommy Turtle, effectively bringing a renaissance to the book. And the way the games and SatAm have been merged closer is great. If fits with the modern games, but still feels like SatAm. Yay, Ian!
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Postby Zulon Eredas » Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:52 am

Taking Finitevus from his role as just a minor character and making him a major antagonist and creating a back story for him that helps cement his villiany.
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Postby Radz the Hedgehog » Sun Nov 30, 2008 5:42 pm

I read the book again after 10 years?

Seriously, I after 160 I began hearing good things about the book both because of your writing and Tracy's artwork, so I decided to read again.

Sonic's personality is perfect...perfect for Sonic that is. And that's the point, Sonic isn't shown to be the perfect hero that SEGA seems to portray these days. He's flawed and arrogant and so much fun to read...like the Enerjak conversation someone else mentioned...PURE SONIC!
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Postby nuckles87 » Sun Nov 30, 2008 5:56 pm

Best thing since 160, I'd say, is the general improvement of the comic as a whole.

The art has been improved considerably. Part of the reason why I dropped the comic back in the 100s was because of how terrible the art could be. Many of my favorite artists, such as Mawhinney, Spaz, and Butler began doing work less frequently, in favor of some really terrible art from some artists I won't name due to Ian's rules. We had some greats appear at around the same time, such as Axer and Dawn Best, but their art was infrequent. The quality of the art in general was simply too inconsistent, which made certain issues very difficult for me to read.

Starting with 160, however, we have Tracy Yardley. He conveys the kid friendly Sonic style of Art Mawhinney, and the great facial expressions and since of movement from Spaziente, to create a really clean, nice to looking comic. I am at times amazed at how full of life these pages can be.

Of course, it isn't all about Tracy. In fact, just about every artist who's appeared on the book has been great. Aside from Fry and another artist I can't remember (he drew the awesome story with Antoine's dad) the art has been consistently great. It was good to see Steve Butler and Dubs appear for a few stories too. The next new artist, who's name escapes me, is also looking excellent. I can't wait to see 198 in full color. Speaking of color, I just have to point out that THAT could be improved, but I'll save that for the question that will allow me to unload my ills regarding the comic.

The core to any comic book is the writing. And naturally, I wouldn't be here if Ian sucked. Thankfully though Ian, while it's been a rocky ride, you've done good. I have my share of complaints regarding many of your stories, I've made my opinion of Darkest Storm known more then once around here, but overall your writing has brought a measure of much needed fanservice and some fresh air to a book that was floundering without direction for half a decade, if not more. You've cleaned up the book's narrative, you've committed mass genocide several times to make the massive amount of characters more managable. You brutally murdered Tommy, something every fan had been asking for since he was brought back for no apparent reason. You spent more time then I had hoped you would fixing this comic after years of neglect, but the end result is fabulous.

The start of the Bold New Mobius arc, in my mind, marks the start of a new era of the comic book. From 160 to 175, you spent most of your time destroying much of what the comic used to be. You put it's convoluted narrative in order, got rid of troublesome and annoying characters and lingering plot points. You got rid of much of what fans hated about the comic. The destruction of Knothole, in my mind, was a fitting conclusion to your rain of destruction. From 176 to 188, you spent most of your time rebuilding and reshaping the comic, setting it up into the kind of narrative you wanted to tell.

During these two eras, the stories often felt convoluted, focusing too much on the plot and not enough on the characters. Your quality was inconsistent as you tried to tell a good story while still moving the narrative along at a lightening pace. From 189 onward, however, your quality hasn't just been consistent: it's been improving with every issue. This arc has shown a lot of thought and intelligence I don't typically expect in a children's comic. You've taken "stereotypical two dimensional evil characters in leather" and turned them into genuine parallels of their prime zone counterparts. You've stepped up your characterization and your pacing, turning this comic into a consistently good read that I can look forward to.

Thats my favorite thing the new team has done for this comic: you've made it great. Congratulations ;). Be sure to keep it up. I don't want the next enemy to be an army of pink marshmallow bunnies or something.
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Postby Legionfan44 » Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:04 pm

Week #1 - What is the best thing to have come about since STH#160?

well....I gotta say theres a lot....Your style of writing is very entertaining! it seems to flow well & everthing seems in pace...not to slow or to fast.

You brought back the 6-S, You turned Scourge & Fini into total BA's and Your Giving us Sonic Universe next year!

oh and I know im not supposed to ask questions this month..but....But Have You Ever Considered Doing a Sonic Holiday Special.... Like Marvel & DC do with some of their comics? :(hearty laughter):
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Postby 2tailed » Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:35 pm

I think the comic is a fun, generally satisfying read now, which it hadn't been for a while prior to #160.
As far as storylines go, I truly enjoyed the 2-part conclusion to the "Anonymous" saga. Loose plot-ends that had been dangling for over 30 issues were tied up, simplified, and resolved in a story that ended up having plenty of action, fun characters (even Tommy was fun that time around because he was either a shapeshifting evil cyberturtle or he was being a friendly hero), fun, energetic artwork, and plenty of Robotnik.
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Postby Tcat » Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:16 pm

Simplification, enjoyment, coherency, maturity, and *plot*. Everything just flows together better. I haven't been this (dare I say it) giddy about the comic probably since #100 rolled by. Everything was disjointed, confusing, and had characters and plot twists that just left you feeling empty with a "(hearty laughter)...wut?" sensation. It made you wonder why they bothered; nothing was resolved, nothing came about that was earth shattering, characters came, went, and most tended to be quite bland.
In all honesty even with Lost in Space and RtAI it still felt more like downtime than any actual happenings (both arcs I feel could have been snapped together into more conformity and not lasted *that* many issues).
On the other hand the Moebius arc I don't think could have been handled any better. Every character action has a purpose, every line of dialog has consequences... it doesn't feel like you're making it up as you go along --- which is what I think was a big downfall for a long time.

nuckles87 wrote:The art has been improved considerably. Part of the reason why I dropped the comic back in the 100s was because of how terrible the art could be.


And yes, seriously.. you and Yardly make an awesome combination. It's just another way the comic feels like a whole rather than arcs or chopped up issues. One artist, one writer who both know what's going on behind the scenes. You two are on the some wavelength to match mood, expressions, and words ..which makes things conform as a whole.
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Postby ReifuTD » Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:01 pm

Quite frankly I can’t think of anything different from what everyone else have been saying and I haven’t gotten into the comic in tell recently. I’ve always liked the world comic books built up around round them. But nothing really jumped out at me that want to buy. Other than a few manga, what I felt like I was getting more bang for my buck.

Well anyway, How I got into the comics now I was thinking about the SatAM show and remembered about the comic book that had the same characters in it. I wondered what happened to them. So I looked it up and shocked to find it was still running. So I checked out the characters and read some scans. Like what I was seeing (Just felt so refreshing and different,) and decided I should at least get one comic book series and this is the one that’s it.

All else I can say is keep mixing things up dude,
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