Monday, January 26, 2009

Sonic Comics Section - New Page

Well finally this week a promised thing was done.
The Archie Comics area had a mini-overhaul and a new page added. The main page got better links, and some info improvement. The new page is for their compilations, the latest addition to the Archie line. This had a problem coming to be, as most Sonic fans (who are interested at all in archies' complications) have been collecting the comic for a long time anyway and the 'volumes' are redundant for they don't buy and they don't do photos. But, someone who did get them has provided info and cover shots that were required to start up the section. (And likely finish it too)

So...the compilations:
They're like the Manga or graphic novels you get in bookstores. Smaller format collected stories that used to be in big format like comics or Shonen Jumps. As usual, these are a GREAT way to let new collectors collect them. They're FAR less expensive than buying the original comic books, and they take up a lot less space too. They're good stuff if you want to get into Archie, and the page will explain them well also. There's some info missing out of it, but that'll be soon remedied.

The bad?
The cover art, interestingly enough. They had fan-favorite Spaz do them, which seems like a good move. And the covers ARE fun and interesting to see. But the an EXACT rip off of the Japanese Sonic screen saver art. He has bitten this style to an exacting degree. While it is a feat of technical merit to rip a style so well, is it the right thing to do? Well, in fan art, doujinshi and other rather derivitive things, YES. The more authentic it looks, the better. But for a SALE-ABLE item should you really be TRACING someone else's work and TAKING it's elements for yourself to make money off of?
Not rly.
If you look at one of the covers there's a laughing Knuckles on it he may as well have put in the photo copier from a fountain image in the SS. Ok if you're going to use the style at least use it to create original works. I wonder what would give a professional artist that sort of confidence to get away with it? Did they get real written permission? Did the original guy die? Is Japan so far away that 'no one will know'? Did the screen saver set somehow fly into public domain 65 years ahead of schedule?

The double Knuckles thing will go up on the next site update for a direct comparison that you can see exactly what's going on even if you're not familiar with the SS.

The other things to go up this time were not many, as a new page is time consuming. A clever combination of Animal Crossing and a Mii yeilded a rather interesting Eggman to look at in Fan Items (really, the custom shirt made at Abel Sisters is the icing upon it) These, and the various sackboy / world creations are always clever to see as it demonstrates that Sonic Fans are bringing Sonic to all kinds of non-Sonic realms.

The last was a UK book, which, interestingly, was THEIR failed attempt at compilations like discussed above. Failed because there were only 2 done before it was cancelled. These, instead, collected together some of the early Fleetway comic stories just as Archie had done. And to make things worse for the fans, these compilation books are HARDER to get a hold of than the regular comics they contained.
This is really a shame because the Fleetways being more than monthlies really got quite far, plot wise and were widely varied from what Archie had...but no one outside the UK area had an easy time of getting them. I remember Germany having to give up quite a bit of cash to get these, or them being sparse in stores.

Does SonicGear have the Fleetways?
Yes, about 2 of them or so, bought years ago when the thing was still in biz. Not that they do much good, as they're just random issues that were still in stock. Interest? YES. Hopefully eventually someone sends in a mess of data/summaries for these things, as well as interior scans/cover shots etc. SonicGear is always trying to create a "Like Owning It" experience for the fans, and so far that area is...not.

So what's next?
The next lofty goal is SonicVideos section overhaul to tie it in with the buyable video stuff that's around now. That's going to be LOTS harder than this comic one that just happened, so the mail will have to have a serious chunk out of it (and hopefully be not so huge) before that can go down because when it does...likely 0 other items will go up with it. That AND it'll tie into the SonicGear store because bringing people closer to easily getting the Sonic stuff they want is a great goal. (and in this case, do-able!)

The good news:
The mail is going down again. More people will soon not feel ignored (AAAH I'mnot ignoring you I'm buried in it) as their items begin to appear on Gear. The next week will likely see another 'big variety' like the last time did as no clear theme has yet emerged.