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October 4, 2009 in Sonic General
*This is the second attempt at the topic as the first one was lost when I closed the window by mistake*
So yesterday I met up with Nigel Dobbyn in Birmingham, it was great, comics, artwork, comics, writers, comics, and best of all, lots of people cosplaying as Harley Quinn! Because Harley Quinn is hot, and awesome!
Anyway, I met with Nigel Dobbyn and we had a little chat, what follows are bits and pieces of those conversations that he had with myself, my mum (who wanted a nice day out, and I asked if she wanted to come because I thought I'd be bored on my own), some random guy who was mad on 200AD and a very young boy who loved Digimon.
I've set it out in an interview format, only because it makes it easier to follow, but this was not an interview, nor did I have any intention of interviewing him. Also some stuff I was told would be interesting to fans of STC and partial fans, but because it involves other people and is my own interpretation of what was said, I'm not going to mention it unless they themselves openly come out and say it. Unfortunately, there’s no photos as my camera broke... sigh... but what he said was quite interesting, so here it is.
Why are you selling this stuff, it must be killing you getting rid of it all right?
Not really, it's been in my loft for years, I thought since I was getting no pleasure from them, I would let others who get lots of pleasure and enjoyment from them take them, I know they'll be loved and taken very good care of.
That picture of Knuckles is amazing! (points to the picture that Nigel Kitching bought at SOS 09)
Yes, that really is a nice one, everyone at SOS wanted that. That one was a present to my father, he hung it up in his hallway along with that big one of Judge Dread (points to a giant picture of Judge Dread that an eager 2000AD fan instantly buys). But when he died it was returned to me, it's been in my loft ever since.
I really like this picture (points to the picture of Captain Plunder and the Space Maidens)
WOW!? Really!? Are you mad!? Almost nobody likes those characters! Gosh! On the drive down here I was trying to remember their names, the Space Maidens isn't it? (I nod), Yes, they actually had a pin up! Couldn't believe it myself since they weren't that popular. (sure enough, on the back of this page were a bunch of notes about turning this page into a pin up).
I really like this picture, I don't know why since it's got no Sonic characters on it, but the artwork is truly amazing. (points to a picture of a load of dinosaurs from the strip when Knuckles has to find a new master emerald)
Yes that’s one of my favourites too, it was a pleasure to do that strip, I love dinosaurs, they're one of my two favourite things to draw. Aliens and dinosaurs. Every kid I've met at one point or another loves dinosaurs, so it seems only right that they made an appearance in the comic.
For some reason, I adore this picture (points to a picture of Captain Plunder being hit over the head by Simpson the cat) I think it's because Simpson reminds me of the head from those old sega adverts
Oh yes I remember those, but no. Simpson was actually created by Nigel Kitching, and I think that Elson also had a hand in it too. It was their homage to Felix the cat more than anything.
The comic did that a lot didn't they? Homage’s to things.
Yes there was a lot, some are obvious like the Marvel comics stuff added around issue 100. There was the Space Maidens to, but there was a lot of other homage’s that we paid and influences that we used to make some strips.
(he takes one of the portfolios and turns to a page that has Knuckles and some talking trees)
This one, this strip was our homage to Hammer Horror, especially the moments when all seems fine then it turns on it's head and the trees become evil. We would pay homage and use influences for a lot of Knuckles strips, often we paid homage to various artists and writers that we loved (he then lists off a bunch of artists and writers... but I cannot remember them due to sleep deprivation).
That strip almost failed to get published you know?
Which one? The one with the talking trees?
Yes, we had the script, and Nigel Kitching sent me his copy. I finished the illustrations and then threw out my copy of the script. A few days later I get a call saying that the office had lost their script, and Nigel was in Florida on holiday and they couldn't get in contact with him... could they use mine... so I told them that it wasn't possible.
So we had this one issue ready, but with no dialogue. So I had to make a script using what dialogue I could remember for the deadline. It got the all clear and that’s the one that was printed. Nigel later told me that it was pretty close to the original.
I really like this picture, (point to the page that shows Knuckles first meeting the floating islands guardian robots).
Oh now then, that picture, I had a great compliment on that one, my best compliment ever. When I took that set into the offices, the woman blew on it and dusted it down, she said "There’s dirt on it." I turned around and told her... no, that’s not dust, that’s the rubble that’s on the robot! She actually thought the dust on the robot was real!
(the following bit of information may not relate to STC, at the time he was answering questions from another STC fan, and talking to a very excited young boy about Digimon, so it maybe about the old Digimon comic).
My children love Sonic the Comic, it's strange how it has such a huge following even after it's publication, so many new readers find it and love it, do your kids like it?
Well my girls are more into Manga, they know of STC, but not that interested in it. No idea... well that’s not true, there’s a lot of reasons, but it's amazing, to this day it has such a huge following. But I agree with you on its popularity, nobody could have imagined how popular it's remained after all these years. It had a huge following at the time. But all of a sudden I got a call saying "Pens down, comic has been cancelled" and that was that. They were idiots, that comic had so many more issues left in it.
I later had a very short chat with Lew Stringer, he was mainly there for Toxic related stuff so I didn't keep him for too long.
Hello, would you please sign my copy of Sonic the comic.
Of course, you know Nigel Dobbyn is in the next room right? (I nod and say we've already met). Yes, unfortunately Elson couldn't make it today, he's too busy. But definitely look at his new work, he's done part 4 of Marvel Zombies Return. I think it's brilliant, it's the issue with the Hulk, give it a read.
(I have this issue already, I didn't realise it was Elson’s work, and it really is incredible).
Yes, the former STC staff keep in touch with each other, we tend to bump into each other a lot at things like this.
So that was it. There was a lot more said, but like I said before, I don't want to talk about the whole day as it was a very informal thing and I didn't intend for it to be a, 'talk to me about Sonic the Comic, Nigel just started talking about it and like I said, he had an anecdote for just about everything, so I thought you lot would be interested.
Oh and furthermore. Nigel has a new comic strip in this year’s Beano book, Billy the cat, and he's also completed next years (2011) Beano Book strip, which is very very cool indeed. He was also kind enough to draw me Minnie the Minx, and it was brilliant as he told me that it was only the second time he had ever drawn her. I have a feeling he's trying to get more Beano work. But lets leave him alone on that one.
One I get a new camera I'll take some photos of the pages in question and the drawing he did. Oh and if you are wondering, the artwork that he was selling on the day was the leftover stuff from SOS, nothing new, except for a bunch of 2000AD work that he didn't take to SOS, please don't bug him about artwork as he's very busy at the moment. (To give you an idea... someone there at the day, a guy from France, approached him and pretty much offered him a job right there on the spot!)
Nigel Dobbyn = Very nice man and a top bloke, he even had a chat with my mum about various Doctor Who and Torchwood episodes.
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