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Do the mandates for the comics even exist?

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I was reading the IDW comic thread the other day where one poster mentioned how the mandates don't really exist and they might be guidelines at best. I always heard about the mandates and how they restricted the writers but what I didn't know is that the "mandates" aren't really mandates at all. I will admit there might be more to the situation than I thought but do mandates for the comics really exist? And  is it all misinformation? And how much of it is misinformation?

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Sega very clearly doesn't let the comics writers go off and do basically whatever they want, the way things were for a long time with Archie Sonic. That's only reasonable; every company wants to protect their intellectual property, and after seeing how off-track Archie Sonic had become, as well as the series as a whole dealing with an ongoing identity crisis, it makes sense that they'd have stricter oversight in place than they used to.

But nobody who isn't directly involved in the comics actually knows what rules are in place, besides the few that the people involved have let slip. That makes it easy to blame them for anything in the comic they don't like; it's always big bad Sega ruining the writer's pure and faultless vision, and nobody can prove otherwise.

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While it's irritating that flaws inherent to Ian's writing are blamed on mandates that we don't understand the full extent of, it's also important to acknowledge that SEGA are assholes and have alienated almost every creative they've worked with on this series to some degree. Their interference has always gone beyond "protecting the IP."

It's why I wish discussion would focus more on the content of the book and not always jump to trying to pin down who's fault it is so they can fantasize about them being fired. 

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Why does this thread exist?

The answer is yes, but whatever issue people may take with those who like to bring them up, you're essentially asking a question with a fairly reasonable answer.

It's a licensed book based on an ongoing videogame mascot. Of course there are rules and regulations in place that are expected to be kept in mind and occasionally heeded when it comes to the creative content.

I would also like to note that while things got super restrictive or obstructive, that was a sudden reaction attempting to help further reign in a book that had strayed from and dipped into things that caught a considerable amount of ridicule(not that the games wouldn't understand that). Each time they were forced to dump a chunk of continuity and reset the sleight, some of the mandates lightened up because things were getting closer to what SEGA would've liked.

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A reminder that goes over many people is, that at the time, Sega didn’t really care as much as they did nowadays during the 90s. That’s why Penders got away with making Archie Sonic the way it was before Ian took the reins. They mostly came in force when Penders threw his fit and quit working on the comics when he couldn’t have his way.

Once Ian came into the picture, he started making the comic more in line with the games with its own flair. That’s where a lot of people are a bit irritated with the mandates when a lot of them come off as more interfering than normal.

Some are more stricter than others, such as Sonic not being allowed to lose, but Ian’s worked around that by making victories bittersweet instead.

Usually you feel some awkwardness in the comic, which is when we get word of Sega putting their hand in things—like the handling of Shadow in iDW for example.

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2 hours ago, Heckboy said:

Imagine there was a licensed Mario comic and people got mad because the comic didn't make Mario a nihilistic guerrilla leader fighting an army of red Bowsers to save his OC parents.

Nintendo's so strict with their IPs that they wouldn't EVEN let foreign companies TOUCH their IPs. The only exception is their newest IP, and we haven't heard that coming out at all.

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6 hours ago, Heckboy said:

They've just become a convenient boogeyman to blame the flaws of the comics on.

Outside of shadow's character which is quite literally them, this is pretty accurate. Also the characters stunted growth with whole status quo thing. But generally this is accurate. Everything has mandates on how it needs to handled in media unless yo hooked a contract where the people invovled need not give a fuck about the IP holders opinions look at the sonic film. And nothing in the previous issues goes against sonic mandates or at least the ones we know of. We always discover new ones like aforementioned shadow issues. Outside of very specific situation like that it seems to be relatively the same.

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The amount of times Ian has had to answer this question on his podcast has kind of reached the point of being silly. It's like the disease imposed by the over exaggeration of the mandates spreads faster than the cure of a clear mind and solid information. 

He always likes to explain it by saying that whatever rules are in play aren't these restrictive laws that are set in stone on tablets reading "THOU SHALT NOT MAKE SONIC CRY!" or whatever. Most of it is common-sense stuff that any company putting their property out there would probably want adhered to. Sonic can shed tears, he just can't be huddled up in a corner hugging his knees and bawling because that's not the way his character would express his sadness.

Other stuff are things that exist only because SEGA feels like having it be a certain way one day and a different way later.

Cream used to be off-limits. Now she's not. Omega used to be off-limits. Now he's not. Infinite's off-limits right now. Maybe he won't be down the line. Who knows?

The IDW comics haven't been that resistrive at all when it comes to the vast majority of what he's allowed to do here. Even Ian was surprised when his pitch of the Metal Virus came back with no notes. Which makes it stranger when weird stuff they do take issue with crops up from time to time.

It's good to have rules because when your property is out of your hands you can sometimes get stuff like the original look of Sonic in the movie.  

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2 minutes ago, Dr. Christmas Mike said:

It's good to have rules because when your property is out of your hands you can sometimes get stuff like the original look of Sonic in the movie.  

It's not like the movie is respectful of the iconic source material anyway. :^|

In any case, mandates might not be so bad if this wasn't Sonic Team. Too bad it is.

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2 hours ago, Almar said:

In any case, mandates might not be so bad if this wasn't Sonic Team. Too bad it is.

But...they don't affect storytelling that much (The Metal Virus, how out there Sonic Boom could get) so why are they a bad thing? Just "Sonic Team" isn't really a reason. 

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10 hours ago, PublicEnemy1 said:

Nintendo's so strict with their IPs that they wouldn't EVEN let foreign companies TOUCH their IPs. The only exception is their newest IP, and we haven't heard that coming out at all.

They let Illumination handle their Mario movie, and that's a pretty big risk. 

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So tidbit from Bumblekast: Evidently, the person who reported what Mr. Flynn divulged about Shadow risked stirring up trouble. Like, potentially not being able to answer questions at cons trouble. 

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1 hour ago, Scritch the Cat said:

They let Illumination handle their Mario movie, and that's a pretty big risk. 

It's literally the safest possible option for a big budget adaptation of Mario.

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37 minutes ago, Wraith said:

It's literally the safest possible option for a big budget adaptation of Mario.

If they don't care about being "too close to source material" anymore, then it doesn't matter how small the risk is.

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1 hour ago, DabigRG said:

So tidbit from Bumblekast: Evidently, the person who reported what Mr. Flynn divulged about Shadow risked stirring up trouble. Like, potentially not being able to answer questions at cons trouble. 

Shit like this is not helping Sega’s case when it comes to these mandates. That only reinforces people’s thoughts over the mandates being seen as overly strict for no reason.

Do they have that big a problem with a certain degree of transparency?

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1 hour ago, DabigRG said:

So tidbit from Bumblekast: Evidently, the person who reported what Mr. Flynn divulged about Shadow risked stirring up trouble. Like, potentially not being able to answer questions at cons trouble. 

Oh damn, guess that confirms the validity of the story. Also I dunno maybe they should get less mad him, and more at themselves but whatever

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10 hours ago, Zaysho said:

I kinda read that as Ian not answering questions, particularly regarding Sega's restrictions, because his words are going to get twisted by overzealous fans, tbh.

To be fair, that’s kinda Sega’s own fault to begin with. They haven’t exactly been consistent themselves, or have the right mind, so they basically brought much of it on themselves.

If that’s the case, I could understand it on Ian’s part, but I still can’t say that puts Sega in a better light when they’re the heads in charge.

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32 minutes ago, Conquering Storm’s Servant said:

To be fair, that’s kinda Sega’s own fault to begin with. They haven’t exactly been consistent themselves, or have the right mind, so they basically brought much of it on themselves.

If that’s the case, I could understand it on Ian’s part, but I still can’t say that puts Sega in a better light when they’re the heads in charge.

Well, Sega being incompetent and wanting the series to be as bare bones and boring as possible is a bit different from a certain news outlet running a misleading headline about his thoughts on the Freedom Fighters for clicks or a stupid Reddit putting words in his mouth that could make him look bad to his employers all because he said he has to write a certain character differently now.

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6 minutes ago, Zaysho said:

Well, Sega being incompetent and wanting the series to be as bare bones and boring as possible is a bit different from a certain news outlet running a misleading headline about his thoughts on the Freedom Fighters for clicks or a stupid Reddit putting words in his mouth that could make him look bad to his employers all because he said he has to write a certain character differently now.

Oh, yeah. Forgot about that last one.

Yeah, that’s more understandable then.

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