Ask Ian #5 - The Return

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

Postby jgoreham » Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:46 am

I <3 Script Bits. Ever think of Podcasting it? I usually download it on my PDA to go, but sometimes I think it'd be nice if I could hear it instead of read it (particularly because reading on the bus makes me motion sick!).
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Postby BlueFantasy » Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:19 pm

I know this is way behind the times, but echidnas have spurs on their hind feet, which is where I'm pretty sure Sega got Knux's knuckles from. When I was little, I put them on all my echidna characters. :P

Question! Speaking of knuckles, are Lara-Su's retractable? Part of her gloves? Eh? She didn't have them, she punched someone with them, and then they were gone again. o.o Way back when she first showed up.

If you could remake Sonic and Sally's kids, Ian, what would you name them? And would you make them hybrids instead of little clones? =3
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Postby Guest » Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:41 pm

The first rule of cartoon animal children is that if the parents are of two different species, then a boy looks like the day and a girl looks like the mom. =p
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Postby Goldanas » Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:43 pm

15 pages! Dun Dun Duuuuuuuuun (dramatic reverb)!

You're a busy guy, Ian. With all the archival work you do with the threads, your dillegence in responding to topics and questions both insightful and comedic, on top of your work on the comic, itself, it's a wonder you have any time on your hands at all.

I respect and applaud your dedication to the fans, Mr. Flynn. It takes a tough man to deal with the likes of us, especially those of us who are faux-women.

Thanks as always.
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Postby Pundit » Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:33 pm

Blue, I suspect SEGA simply got the inspiration for his knuckles from the fact that echidnas have claws on their paws ;o And this is kind of weird, but apparently male echidnas have *one* spur on one of their feet. I'm just trying to imagine what the use of that would be.

Also, what Goldanas said. Your time and effort is greatly appreciated, Ian <3
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Postby Kureejii Lea » Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:59 pm

BlueFantasy wrote:Question! Speaking of knuckles, are Lara-Su's retractable? Part of her gloves? Eh? She didn't have them, she punched someone with them, and then they were gone again. o.o Way back when she first showed up.


She's supposed to have 'em retractable.
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Postby Ian Flynn » Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:50 am

TheSlyder wrote:Ian, if I slipped you a Lincoln, would you hook me up with a job at Archie?


You'll need to slip a few thousands Ben's to me. Then I promise to think about it.

Pundit wrote:I'm sure you'll agree that the comic has seen a spate of death lately. Besides the obvious use of death as a plot mechanism to _ahem_ tie up loose ends and collapse complications, someone on another forum brought up an interesting point about how it can give certain characters/situations the kind of impact that they couldn't possibly achieve otherwise. So my question to you is - how do you see the general role of death in the narrative?


Death in the narrative is no different from death in the real world. The loss of one person has a resounding affect on life in general. The loss of a relatively impacts their family, their co-workers, their friends, the businesses they used and the business brought in on their demise. All those connected to the aforementioned groups also are affected by proxy, and so on.

The trick with death in the narrative is to take all of this into account and then decide which direction you want to focus upon. Additionally there is the added burden of giving it meaning, which in life - sadly - there seldom is.

All of the deaths I've written, to some degree, have been "cleaning house." Going into it, I knew by this point I would garner a reputation of the Grim Reaper of the book, but I wanted each passing to have some point.

The Ancient Walkers were set up to die a long time ago, and the loss of the patron deities removes the literal deus ex machina safety-net for the heroes - and they know that.

Sir Connery's death was to wrap up his plot-point existence, to narrow the number of magical enemies we had running around, and to remove the Source of All from continuity.

M was removed partly to make room for Snively again, but also to demonstrate the ruthlessness of Dr. Eggman and A.D.A.M./Anonymous.

The Spider Ninjas were, again, a demonstration of Dr. Eggman's ruthlessness but also Mogul's callowness.

Gen. D'Coolette was meant to take Antoine to the end of the road he was on. Antoine is at rock bottom. He's stronger for it now, and it's time to build him back up. That, and the book needs something different than an action story on occasion.

The Weasel Gang . . . . was lame and needed to be cut. But it gave Nack a boost of villainy that he's been sorely lacking.

Ivan Kintobor wasn't ever all that alive to begin with, and his state of death further cements Issac's dementia.

I refuse to wipe out characters willy-nilly, but there were a lot to go through initially. Which brings us to . . .

Pundit wrote:When do you decide that we've had enough and its time to turn to other non-fatal means to resolve plot points? Given that we've historically seen _very selective_ use of death (i'm talking about way back, maybe pre 100), do you see a return to those principles or will death remain a not-uncommon occurance in the comic?


Yes, I'm hanging up the scythe soon. We're quickly approaching a point where I've addressed all the big outstanding issues and moving on to stuff that is built more upon my own work.

But at the same time, let the past year be a forewarning. Nobody (aside from the obvious) is immune and if need be there will be drastic changes. Part of what I wanted to do was shake up the book - a lot. I think I'm getting there.

Pundit wrote:Finally, the capstone. I understand you might be reluctant to give a specific answer that might tie your hands, but as far as you can tell us, should we expect anymore significant character deaths in the near term (eh... I mean the next half a year or so)?


Depends on what you mean by "significant" =D There are far, far fewer casualties on the road to #175 than there already have been, and anyone else I'm thinking of is so far in advance there's no point in even teasing it.

jgoreham wrote:I <3 Script Bits. Ever think of Podcasting it?


That's a neat idea, but no. I don't have a mic and I haven't the faintest clue on how to do one.

...okay, I have a mic but it's a real mic and I don't have the special cables to connect it to my machine. I don't have the software to set it up . . . although I do have easy-access to a sound studio . . .

But I don't know how to make a podcast. No, I won't Google it. No, I don't want links to how to do it! I'm busy enough as is!

Curse you for giving me cool new project ideas! TO THE BOX WITH YOU!

BlueFantasy wrote:Question! Speaking of knuckles, are Lara-Su's retractable? Part of her gloves?

Kureejii Lea wrote:She's supposed to have 'em retractable.


There ya go.

BlueFantasy wrote:If you could remake Sonic and Sally's kids, Ian, what would you name them? And would you make them hybrids instead of little clones? =3


If we were to return to M25YL (M30YL?), I'd try to keep it as true to the original as possible. So perhaps Sonia and Manic return, but as twins. And, no, no hybrids.

Goldanas wrote:15 pages! Dun Dun Duuuuuuuuun (dramatic reverb)!


Did you just make an "Angry Beavers" reference?

As for talk about spurred feet, I was delighted to find out that the duckbill platypus also has barbs on its hind legs, but these carry a lethal poison. Should we ever return to Downunda, I would love to incorporate that into some kind of crazy toxic martial art for the platypi.
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Postby General Tekno » Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:03 am

Read the latest issue Ian - it's awesome!

Some questions:

1. So, does Mogul have ANY superpowers now? I'm a bit unclear, but didn't he get some chaos emerald energy from Knux way back when when he drained it out of him?

2. How come ADAM didn't see Fintevus release the Destructix, or do anything about it? Should he not be concerned about an unspecified variable? Or are they working in cahoots?
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Postby jgoreham » Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:38 am

t3h box oh noes :O Fair enough, though!
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Postby Ian Flynn » Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:10 am

General Tekno wrote:1. So, does Mogul have ANY superpowers now? I'm a bit unclear, but didn't he get some chaos emerald energy from Knux way back when when he drained it out of him?


Spoiler Answer #1 wrote:This will be touched upon in the future, but I think it's safe to say he's been severely de-powered. He has his old Ixis magic skills and his telepathy (which might be an Ixis arte itself), but no more chaos powers. All of the energy he stole from Knuckles was lost when he was defeated by Turbo Tails.


General Tekno wrote:2. How come ADAM didn't see Fintevus release the Destructix, or do anything about it? Should he not be concerned about an unspecified variable? Or are they working in cahoots?


Spoiler Answer #2 wrote:Oh, he saw and he didn't care. Dr. Finitevus and the Destructix played no part in his plan and - by this point - couldn't have done much to stop him. Or so he thinks . . .


jgoeham wrote:t3h box oh noes :O Fair enough, though!


Seriously, it's a neat idea, but I'm not in a position to seriously pursue it right now.
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Postby TheSlyder » Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:23 am

I've noticed throughout the later issues (Last 25 or so, I guess) that there have been a few references to online sub-cultures, some examples would be:

- A page featuring Sonic in ninja attire (I forget the issue number) saying "You da man now, 'hog!" It's a pretty obvious reference to YTMND.com (You're the man now, dog.)

- A splash page of Sonic screaming "KAAAAAAHN!" Obviously referring to Monkey Kahn, but I believe this to be another reference to YTMND.com. (If not for the other reference, I'd think it was just a Star Wars reference.)

- Anonymous. Anyone who is aware of 4chan (I won't be putting the ".whatever" on the end because t's a not work safe website, I don't recommend going there unless you're a grown-up and don't have friends and family. If you want to find it hard enough, I'm sure you'll manage.) understands the relation between it and "anonymous."

Weren't you the writer who came up with Anonymous? If so, are you secretely a 4channer?

What are your opinions on putting these references into the book?
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Postby Ian Flynn » Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:45 am

It's a slow day at the office. Hence more answers!

TheSlyder wrote:Weren't you the writer who came up with Anonymous? If so, are you secretely a 4channer?


No, I'm the third person to touch Anonymous. The character was introduced by Romy Chacon, and I think Ken Penders was the one to definitively call it "Anonymous." Perhaps Romy made it a distinct character first. Regardless, my contribution was revealing it to be A.D.A.M.

I've never been to 4chan, but I've heard of it.

TheSlyder wrote:What are your opinions on putting these references into the book?


I think they can be fun if they're used sparingly and as quick one-liners or visual gags. A couple you missed off the top of my head:

- I forget the issue number, but the opening sequence has Sonic running across the top of a dam and descending into the control room in a sequence almost identical to the opening moments of the Bond movie "Goldeneye." To cement this, the opening dialogue was:
EGGMAN: Sonic! You must think you're so golden, eyeing me like that.
SONIC: I spying?

- StH#160, Bean turns to an unseen Shadow, points to the shiny keys and proudly proclaims "Shine Get!" This is in reference to The engrish phrase shown in Super Mario Sunshine in the Japanese version. I found it delightful. In the english version it was reduced to "Shine!"
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Postby Kureejii Lea » Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:34 pm

TheSlyder wrote:- A page featuring Sonic in ninja attire (I forget the issue number) saying "You da man now, 'hog!" It's a pretty obvious reference to YTMND.com (You're the man now, dog.)

- A splash page of Sonic screaming "KAAAAAAHN!" Obviously referring to Monkey Kahn, but I believe this to be another reference to YTMND.com. (If not for the other reference, I'd think it was just a Star Wars reference.)


While the former may have be more commonly known as an internet gag, neither of these is solely an internet reference. The former's just a slang phrase the site took on (did the site even exist when that issue came out?) and the latter is a Star Trek reference first and foremost (even Seinfield uses it).

Ewww, I knew the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek. I think that's a new level of nerd for me.
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Postby Pundit » Thu Nov 02, 2006 1:46 pm

You know, Ian, about the "Shine get" thing, "get" or "get-to" is not really intended to be Engrish. Instead, it's a loan-word taken from English and now assimilated into the Japanese vocab. Obviously the Japanese use it to mean getting or receiving something, so you'll see it tacked on to nouns like "<product> get-to!" or "<thing> get-to!" etc, and used in the normal course of a Japanese colloquial conversation. Hence the translation of "shine get" to "shine".

And now a tiny little question, since it's a slow day at the office. Whither Albion/Mercia/Station Square/Mysterious Cat Country? Do you see any of these not-so-principal locations playing a role in the future, or will the comic simply focus on Knothole/Angel Island for now?

ps. Significant, eh. So i'd consider the death of someone like Hershey to be significant, but the death of, let's say, a random member of the royal guard to be less so.
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Postby TheSlyder » Thu Nov 02, 2006 3:12 pm

Yeah, I'm aware that neither of those things are exclusive to the intarwebs, but the fact that they were both made makes me think that they were references to the website, which is what connects them.

Sonic has been riddled (To a fault, to be honest) with references. From the old Fantastic Four side story from an issue so old i don't remember which one it is, to the waterfall sequence in Endgame.

In fact, at the risk of sounding complainie, I'd say that a solid half of the content in Sonic the Hedgehog is in one way or another a reference, gag, parody, salute, or the result of inspiration from another source. I don't think very much of it is too original, until probably the last half of the series, in which it really started going downhill.

I mean, I've always loved the series, but looking back, it's always been pretty low quality :(

I still love it all the same, though.
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