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Author Topic: Sonic the Comic Online issue 252  (Read 4451 times)

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Offline wendyw

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Sonic the Comic Online issue 252
« on: July 17, 2010, 06:57:51 PM »
I just checked the Sonic the Comic Online site today and found something a bit interesting that I thought I'd share.

First, a bit of background. Sonic the Comic was a licensed Sonic the Hedgehog fortnightly comic in the UK. It was at one point the publisher's biggest title, but the publisher had some rather stupid policies, such as after a set amount of time starting to repeat stips and stories in thier comics. For a comic with a set continuity and timeline, along with a core readership that had been reading from the early days, this was the kiss of death. Sales started to fall the more reprints appeared and the more sales fell the less money they were willing to spend on including new stories and eventually the comic stopped selling enough copies to be worth their while. Sometime later the not exactly official online succesor appeared. Carrying on from the last new story that the original comic published. Since then it's been publishing a full issue online every couple of months. It's an unusual way of doing things online, but it seems to be working for them.

In issue 100 of the print comic Dr.Robotnik (Eggman in the newer games) was finally defeated by a big electromagnetic pulse bringing down most of the technology on the whole damn planet. In issue 250 the previously incoherently insane, once thought to be dead, Robotnik returned, almost back to his own self and with some rather powerful supporters. Issue 251 saw the mad doctor attempting to take over the comic's version of the internet.

What I thought was pretty nifty is what they've done for the next issue:

http://www.stconline.co.uk/252/

Now, the site automatically brings up the cover for the most recent issue, but I've linked directly to it just in case 253 comes online before some people read this.

I think what they've down with this site for this issue is pretty funky and really makes the most of the format. You can see the other issues by hitting the back issues link. I've seen the same kind of thing done with print comics before where one issue will finish with the villain gaining the upper hand and the next will have the title scratched out and rewritten for example. An episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer also comes to mind where reality had been changed to make another character the big hero and the opening credits had been redone to reflect this, but it's something that I don't tend to see online so much.

Sure, we can change the page design for a week or two while something happens in the comic, but generally the way webcomic sites are set up it changes the page design for the whole archive for those couple of weeks and then we'll have to change it back again. The way Sonic the Comic Online is set up gives them the ability to do all sorts of funky theming to tie in with different storylines and I wonder if being able to do this kind of thing could be something that would make it worthwhile to find a way to be able to set different themes for different pages within the same archive.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2010, 08:37:33 AM by wendyw »

Offline Rob

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Re: Sonic the Comic Online issue 252
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2010, 12:19:04 AM »
Wow. All that red made my spleen explode.  :D

No one ever accused Robtotnik of having style though I guess.

I think the only problem I see with trying to establish themes is how would you know in advance what themes you would need?

Plus the effort involved in coding such a thing.

For Remedy I have a bible that goes forward for some time and that would give me SOME idea of a useful upcoming theme. But all my other strips are much less planned out.

Then again I don't want to be a nancy naysayer. In the abstract it would be wonderful to do this kind of thing. And as CMS and programming in general becomes easier I expect we will see a lot more of this (I'm waiting for the days when I can just tell a computer what I want to do and it just does it, LOL).

I would say that this IS the future of webcomics. But anyone doing it now is on a very bleeding edge.

Offline klingers

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Re: Sonic the Comic Online issue 252
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2010, 09:18:48 PM »
Out of interest, would this be a continuation of the same Archie comics Sonic series I used to see in big piles at garage sales in the 90's, or is this a different continuity?

Either way it looks good. That's definitely going on the bookmark list for tonight when I get home. I love the format.

Offline wendyw

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Re: Sonic the Comic Online issue 252
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2010, 09:30:20 PM »
Nah. The Archie Sonic comics are still going, but their lisence has never extended to the UK. I actually had a subscription for it with a big comic store chain over here, but they managed to deliver some issues late and failed to order enough of one issue to actually get it out to all the people who had it on order, which they failed to mention until after all the other stores that import it in ran out themselves. : /

This one is a completely different continuity and because both comics started before the in game universe was that fleshed out that well they've ended up going in quite different directions.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2010, 09:31:51 PM by wendyw »