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I keep looking at the old and new universe comics and there's still something that bothers me about the art in the new comics, so I'm gonna take two great looking pages, one from each continuity and analyze them here because why not

07.jpg03.jpg

Now I should note that it's definitely not the penciller themselves that gets me about these. Ben Bates drew the left page and Yardley did the right. Every other person who worked on the art is the same between both, so...why is there so much dissonance?

The page on the left looks a lot friggin' better for some reason. I think it's something between the inking, and the colors. On the page on the left, the colors have a lot more gradual shading to them and are also a lot less vibrant. The same goes for the entirety of the Pre-SGW continuity when the art didn't totally suck balls, including World's Collide. But the moment the universe is reset, it feels like Herms put a little less into his colorwork. Everything is a bit more like actual Sonic art, I'll admit, but it doesn't flow like a gradient (better than that) like the older issues did. It's more clear-cut and I'm not as big a fan of it.

The other point is the inking. What the hell is going on here? Now, the plantlife in the right image has a lot more detail in it and I appreciate how good it looks compared to the trees on the left, but why is it so sketchy? Isn't that kind of progressing backwards? This is one more thing that changes the moment the world resets. The characters in the Pre-SGW issues have very thick outlines, while everything looks almost like the raw pencils in the newniverse.

I'd say this is a stylistic change in both respects to represent the change in reality, they did blow up the universe after all, but this is dashed away by Sonic Universe which, while the inking difference may only be a voluntary change Austin made and not to Amash, doesn't retain this. I know it's a comic book, but I feel things look so sketchy it almost breaks the immersion (which, I can have, these comic are the consistent best part of the series right now). I'd be a lot happier if they just went back to making things have whatever color and shape they needed to, fitting to the situation rather than just sketchy and saturated all the time.

Heck, even little things exist that change. The motion blur on the Titan Metal and the speed lines that accompany it give me much more of a sense of speed than Sonic grinding on that vine.

 

TL;DR take Gabriel Cassata off the fucking colors, and Terry Austin get your shit together

Thank you for pointing this out. I always knew there was something about the main book's art post-SGW that was bugging me, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it.

I honestly forgot just how good Austin's inks were pre-SGW. The lines were bold and smooth and actually gave depth to the pencils. But now, like you said, they seem so scratchy, sketchy, and incomplete and I'm not sure why. Even if they were trying to more closely emulate official Sonic art, there's nothing in said art that would call for that type of line quality (except for those Sonic Channel sketch illustrations, I guess). The coloring change I could understand a little more, but I still prefer the more "full" gradients of the previous style.

I do hope something changes in the main book in the way of inks and colors at some point, because I feel the current style isn't really doing the work of awesome pencillers like Hesse and Skelly justice. As it stands, I've been favoring the visual style of Universe over that of the main book and I feel like that shouldn't be the case.

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The "original Cassia backstory" isn't canon simply because it never was- it was just a suggestion Evan did when doing the design, independent of whatever was being planned already for the character.

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What about it? I read it last night.

Jesus, already?

Probably mostly that it's incredibly bad. We have almost 20 issues of Sonic being a passive aggressive dick towards Tails, which ends with them having a melodramatic fight about it, and meanwhile a completely half-arsed coup happens and all of a sudden the Kingdom of Acorn is a parliamentary (I think?)

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What about it? I read it last night.

Well damn.

Basically, it's one of Ian's worse stories - perhaps the worse of them all. Like what was said, Sonic's jerk tendencies were pushed to eleven to allow conflict between him and Tails, which aside from character derailment it wouldn't have been too much of a problem had Fiona not been brought up as one of Tails's grievances. Then the couo which ends anticlimactically.

It's a perfect example of an interesting story executed very poorly. I can see what it was setting up for, but it could have been done much better than what we got.

Edited by ChaosSupremeSonic

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This brings up a discussion I'd like -- in the event of Sonic and Tails still exploding into a fight when confronting each other, what would have made House of Cards acceptable, or even good? I get the feeling that people will say the House of Cards can't be salvaged.

Honestly, with the massive trauma the kids had just been put through, I can see legitimate reason for the tension. Knothole's destruction seemed to change Tails, and Sonic was already not feeling great about things. We can all agree that the Fiona thing was mishandled.

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This brings up a discussion I'd like -- in the event of Sonic and Tails still exploding into a fight when confronting each other, what would have made House of Cards acceptable, or even good? I get the feeling that people will say the House of Cards can't be salvaged.

Honestly, with the massive trauma the kids had just been put through, I can see legitimate reason for the tension. Knothole's destruction seemed to change Tails, and Sonic was already not feeling great about things. We can all agree that the Fiona thing was mishandled.

1. Change Sonic's attitude. The guy has an ego, but he would never, under any situations tell his best friend's parents that Tails worships him. Sonic would never do that, and would never refer to his little brother like that.

2. The Prower's stance. They honestly act like jerks in my opinion. The idea was to create a story where neither side is right, but considering Knothole was completely fine under Elias' control, and his father had no power, the Prowers' problems with Knothole aren't well thought out, and end up coming off power hungry because of the fact they're pulling this right after the Knothole siege. They leave their son to possibly be arrested by his best friend just to go on their idiotic quest for power as well.

3. Fiona. That element needs to have been removed. It makes no sense in the story context. By this point, Fiona backstabbed then all, and took pleasure in hitting Tails. Tails is meant to be the smartest of the characters, he wouldn't still be hung up on a fox who hurt his best friend, and took pleasure in attacking him. If Fiona was a reason, until the betrayal, it might have been fine, but Tails basically says she's the entire reason he's fighting Sonic.

4. Fairer Fight. Tails generally overpowers Sonic during the battle. Tails is my favourite character of the series admittedly, but the fight most definitely shouldn't have been so one sided in order to show Sonic getting his ass kicked.

 

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Well, for one thing, there's the fact that Tails' parents thought that it'd be a good idea for an immediate reform of the government whilst they were still in a large scale resistance against the guy who owned half the planet, how quickly they escalated things, how shockingly unsympathetic Sonic was for Tails' willingness to try anything to be close to his parents given that Sonic had the EXACT SAME THING HAPPEN TO HIM WHEN HE FOUND THEY WERE STILL ALIVE.

Plus the aforementioned Fiona love triangle thing, which I forgot it was started by Penders or Flynn, but was really dumb regardless.

Then it resulted in one of the biggest criticisms of the Flynn pre-SGW era: the Council and how much they just were a dead weight to everyone and everything. Even if the reboot button wasn't pushed and the story went into it's full conclusion, that would not have made up for the preceeding years of frustration. It honestly was almost as bad when Sonic and the Freedom Fighters were forced to go back to high school for a years worth of issues or so.

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Indeed. It appears that most grievances are common. I've been planning to begin OVA projects based on the comic once I'm caught up, and I want to start with some that are faithful to the T. This arc might be one that I change up for the people.

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Yeah, House of Cards is far from being unsalvagable if you ask me. Just...not done well.

Everything Ryannumber1 and biznizz addressed would have made it much more believable and interesting, because honestly we had yet to see Sonic and Tails of all characters actually and legitimately go at it, at least from what I know. Same with Tails's parents being more active characters, but the timing of their actions and Rosemary's continued distrust of the monarchy when the Council was formed that was doing rather well under Elias seems more of a power grab. And that isn't helped by Sally somehow ending the fight between Elias and Amadeus so quickly - Sally may be diplomatic, but the speed she apparently did this was too much for her character to be believable.

Only goes to show that, despite Ian being the best Sonic writer we currently have, even he can make some pretty messy screw ups in writing a story.

If you're going to change up some things in your project, then the above points are definitely things to consider.

Edited by ChaosSupremeSonic

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It'll certainly be tough. Without Fiona, Sonic's general assholery, and the Prowers' movement, it'll be very difficult to justify a fight between Sonic and Tails.

Also, I have to finally talk about a spoiler-esque part.
 

I had known that Sally was going to be roboticized. That issue (#230) was one of the ones I glanced through in impatience. But now, after reading from #0, seeing their ups and downs, knowing that this last development was probably the last before the reboot...and seeing Nicole's "Goodbye, my friend" that I missed last time...I'm really not feeling good right now. Sonic and Sally is DEFINITELY the most invested I've ever been in a Sonic world relationship (and Bunnie-Antoine is riiiight behind).

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It'll certainly be tough. Without Fiona, Sonic's general assholery, and the Prowers' movement, it'll be very difficult to justify a fight between Sonic and Tails.

Also, I have to finally talk about a spoiler-esque part.
 

Hidden Content

Here's a suggestion: don't make them fighting the end goal. I mean, don't get me wrong, I wouldn't mind there being some conflict, whenever the objective is to make the characters do something, that their personalities get waylaid. This is my problem with shipping: the objective becomes more important than the characters themselves. And this is kinda what's going on here, it's a different form of shipping.

I know that this is going to be an unpopular opinion, but I actually thought there was more story potential in Tails's whole dilemma with Fiona. I can actually see where Penders/Bollers was going in that direction, it was just really badly done, and made worse by Ian. Tails in that time in the Archie continuity was 12 years old, he's steadily growing up, and he's experiencing feelings and emotions that he's never felt before, and doesn't understand. The whole thing with the Fiona robot left him confused, as he's dealing with something he's never experienced before. And then the REAL Fiona shows up, and this just made things worse for him. This Fiona is not the robot he fell in love with the first time, she's also older and dealing with moral dilemmas of her own, and she doesn't reciprocate those feelings.

See, stuff like that is what I would consider a good recipe for a story. There's a personal conflict that Tails (and Fiona) are dealing with. The problem I have with stories like "Character A and Character B does X to each other" is that there's no real personal conflict to build off. That's part of why House of Cards feels so phoned in. Sonic and Tails aren't fighting as part of a genuine conflict, as so much as the writer demanded that they do so. Sonic is a jerk not because of it being an actual extension of his personality, it's just an excuse to get them to duke it out.

Now, I'm not going to say that I don't want to see some conflict between Sonic and Tails. Don't get me wrong, I adore their tightly nit relationship, and I think it's great to them genuinely invested in each other to the point where they'll refer to each other as siblings. But at the same time, intimacy brings conflict. Sonic and Tails are two very different people, and they're not going to agree on everything. I'm just saying to take their personalities into account here, rather than finding an excuse for them to fight. It doesn't make for a good story, in my opinion.

... Funny for some reason that really makes me think of how the two SEGA and Megaman crossovers contrast with each other.

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EXPERTLY put, shdowhunt60.

 

I REALLY WISH I hadn't read Ian's little address to his fans regarding the reboot. It spoiled Antoine's "death", and good GOD, that scene is FUCKING AMAZING. It would have slapped me in my poopbox.

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It'll certainly be tough. Without Fiona, Sonic's general assholery, and the Prowers' movement, it'll be very difficult to justify a fight between Sonic and Tails.

Also, I have to finally talk about a spoiler-esque part.
 

Hidden Content

We're like two years beyond that, so it's not really spoiler anymore.

That said, everyone else has kinda moved on from Sonic and Sally. Was being milked and tossed in love triangales like crazy. And that's without getting into Sega's mandates forbidding them from being together anymore. 

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The idea of Fiona and love triangles could have been done half decently, but nothing was made worse by Ian. Penders and Bollers set up an arc that was generally set to fail anyway because neither of them had the ability to write legit romance between the characters, and even then, it shouldn't have become such an undertone of the comic to begin with. I mean it was getting to the point where Penders was ready to ship Chuck and Rosie together.

Ian was backed into a corner when it came to the arc. He had to clean up all of the tangled story mess that Penders created, and because of that, it wouldn't surprise me he just wanted it over and done with. 

Tails has plenty of reason to be pissed off at Sonic. Sometimes, he does have an ego, and he does hog the spotlight, making it a situation like Mario and Luigi where Tails is left in the shadow of Sonic. There's also the times where Sonic may try to do fights alone, despite the fact he can't handle the situation, or the stakes are too high, as seen with the Knothole siege where Tails blew up at Sonic for doing so. There are so many ways it could have been tackled instead of what we got.

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I mean it was getting to the point where Penders was ready to ship Chuck and Rosie together.

Unless I'm misremembering, it was originally Romy Chacon (coughGabriecough) who wrote that Not-Ask Abby story where that seed was planted; while Penders was planning on dedicating a full story to Amy & Bunnie making sure the date went well because Eggman might screw it up or something.

 

I'll just say this when it comes to romance and the comic: I don't mind the romance. Yes, even with Sonic and Sally/Amy/Fiona (not Bunnie tho, that was just uncomfortable all around). It's just that A) most of the writers couldn't write romance worth crap (not Penders, not Bollers), and B ) even when they DID try, they had to shove it full of bland, awkward for the sake of awkward angst and drama. And even Ian couldn't help that as well in the end before the reboot. I have no idea why he thought a Monkey Khan/Sally/Sonic triangle would help strengthen Sally/Sonic, it just made things worse.

It's telling that before Ian, the most convincing romance to come from another writer was from Angelo DeCesare, who friggin' started the Bunnie/Antoine romance.

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Unless I'm misremembering, it was originally Romy Chacon (coughGabriecough) who wrote that Not-Ask Abby story where that seed was planted; while Penders was planning on dedicating a full story to Amy & Bunnie making sure the date went well because Eggman might screw it up or something.

 

I'll just say this when it comes to romance and the comic: I don't mind the romance. Yes, even with Sonic and Sally/Amy/Fiona (not Bunnie tho, that was just uncomfortable all around). It's just that A) most of the writers couldn't write romance worth crap (not Penders, not Bollers), and B ) even when they DID try, they had to shove it full of bland, awkward for the sake of awkward angst and drama. And even Ian couldn't help that as well in the end before the reboot. I have no idea why he thought a Monkey Khan/Sally/Sonic triangle would help strengthen Sally/Sonic, it just made things worse.

It's telling that before Ian, the most convincing romance to come from another writer was from Angelo DeCesare, who friggin' started the Bunnie/Antoine romance.

I'm not referring to the ask Abby story. Penders announced one of his plans before Ian came in was to have Sonic protect Chuck and Rosie while they're on a date from Eggman's stealth bots.

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Tails has plenty of reason to be pissed off at Sonic. Sometimes, he does have an ego, and he does hog the spotlight, making it a situation like Mario and Luigi where Tails is left in the shadow of Sonic. There's also the times where Sonic may try to do fights alone, despite the fact he can't handle the situation, or the stakes are too high, as seen with the Knothole siege where Tails blew up at Sonic for doing so. There are so many ways it could have been tackled instead of what we got.

Here's the thing though, Sonic having an ego was never the problem. And Tails isn't the kind of character who wants spotlight attention, that's not his thing. The problem was that Sonic was REALLY a DICK.

04.jpg

I mean, holy shit, really Ian? This isn't Sonic having an ego, this is Sonic being an absolute douche. Sonic's behavior was really out of character here.

I think the example with the Siege of Knothole is a bit of a better example. Sonic's recklessness getting himself hurt, and of course it'd upset the people who care about him. It's not the thing to start a fist-fight, but that's the kind of thing that would drive loved ones to get in some pretty explosive arguments.

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I'm not referring to the ask Abby story. Penders announced one of his plans before Ian came in was to have Sonic protect Chuck and Rosie while they're on a date from Eggman's stealth bots.

I know that. But there was basically an easter egg in that Dear Abby story which implied that Rosie had a crush on Chuck in the form of a letter. Ken just didn't pass up the opprotunity to create more tediously boring relationships like the Knuckles/Julie one.

Now THAT relationship during his pen was as dry as dirt and going nowhere fast until 25YL where Ken outright showed off "See, remember Lara-Su?! Proof that my Soul Touch relationship hoodoo really does work!"

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Here's the thing though, Sonic having an ego was never the problem. And Tails isn't the kind of character who wants spotlight attention, that's not his thing. The problem was that Sonic was REALLY a DICK.

 

Hidden Content

I mean, holy shit, really Ian? This isn't Sonic having an ego, this is Sonic being an absolute douche. Sonic's behavior was really out of character here.

I think the example with the Siege of Knothole is a bit of a better example. Sonic's recklessness getting himself hurt, and of course it'd upset the people who care about him. It's not the thing to start a fist-fight, but that's the kind of thing that would drive loved ones to get in some pretty explosive arguments.

That whole thing was wroth it seeing tails bop, sonic.I would like it if that happened more regularly. tails is actually secret best rival character

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Here's the thing though, Sonic having an ego was never the problem. And Tails isn't the kind of character who wants spotlight attention, that's not his thing. The problem was that Sonic was REALLY a DICK.

 

Hidden Content

I mean, holy shit, really Ian? This isn't Sonic having an ego, this is Sonic being an absolute douche. Sonic's behavior was really out of character here.

I think the example with the Siege of Knothole is a bit of a better example. Sonic's recklessness getting himself hurt, and of course it'd upset the people who care about him. It's not the thing to start a fist-fight, but that's the kind of thing that would drive loved ones to get in some pretty explosive arguments.

uh...unless I'm missing something here, Sonic didn't actually do anything on that page in particular. All he asked was if Tails had seen her.

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