A new Sonic game hits the shelves soon, Sonic Colors. Ian Flynn’s job as the writer of both Sonic and Sonic Universe is to join the new game to the current Sonic Comic Universe and make it seem like a natural fit.
First Comics News: How far in advance do you get to see the story for Sonic Colors?
Ian: SEGA provided us with the script and some concept art about five months from when the adaptation story will run.
1st: When the produce the game they don’t think about your continuity. Do they ever contradict things you have done in the comics?
Ian: All the time, but that’s what makes the comic’s universe all the richer. It becomes quite the fun challenge to find where these new elements fit. To use “Sonic Unleashed” as an example, we now have to consider there’s an ancient evil god sleeping in the core of the planet. “Sonic Colors” doesn’t cause any issues, though, since all it’s bringing to the table is an alien race, and there have been plenty of aliens in the comic to date.
1st: When you know the game is coming and you know the storyline with the game, how do you set about incorporating that into the comic?
Ian: We’ve taken to the “Another Time/Another Place” tactic. The Sonic comics have long supported a rich multitude of alternate universes – a “multiverse” if you will. Our initial adaptations fall within the scope of the multiverse, making them legitimate, but not throwing off the main continuity. Then, when we have the time, we can work in new game elements properly.
1st: Do you add bits and pieces before the comic adaptation of the game?
Ian: No, we usually don’t have the time. We usually add the bits and pieces after the fact, like how we saved Shadow the Hedgehog’s origin story for 2007 while his game came out in 2005.
1st: What issue will feature the game adaptation?
Ian: Sonic the Hedgehog #219, which will also feature part one of “In Service to the King.”
1st: Will there be new characters added in Sonic Colors?
Ian: It wouldn’t be a new Sonic game without new characters, now would it? But that’s all I can say.
1st: Will you be allowed to add back story to the characters once they are in the comic?
Ian: That’s entirely up to SEGA. It’s too soon to say yet.
1st: Does the release of new games bring new readers to the comic?
Ian: All the time. They come for the game adaptation, then stay for the action-adventure saga!
1st: What do you do to catch new readers up to speed with what is going on in the comic?
Ian: Every issue starts with a primer at the top of the page, and then some kind of character introduction. In “Sonic the Hedgehog,” we do what we call the “Roll Call” that identifies all the key players in the story. In “Sonic Universe,” we opt for “Name Tags” that quickly identify each character. Otherwise, we try to maintain a balance of open, accessible story-telling that still honors all the stuff that keeps the veteran fans happy.
1st: If you buy the Sonic Colors game and then want to start reading the comic, where would you suggest new readers start reading?
Ian: Brand new fans who pick up the “Sonic Colors” story in Sonic the Hedgehog #219 will be jumping in at the very beginning of a new and influential story arc, so that would be as good a place as any! If they want to do some back-issue hunting, Sonic the Hedgehog #213 started our smaller stories, so that might be more accessible. Our anniversary issues, always a multiple of twenty-five, are good too. Of course, if they want to be hardcore, they can start with the beginning of the series in the Sonic Archives and Sonic Selects graphic novels.