Just in time for Throwback Thursday!
I reached far back into my archives to dig these up! These are the only pages I ever did featuring Archie Comics’ long-running licensed hit, Sonic The Hedgehog. Please be kind! These pages are over fifteen years old!
The story behind these pages isn’t very remarkable… or flattering! Sometime around 2001… maybe a little later… the Sonic the Hedgehog office at Archie Comics invited me to submit some Sonic the Hedgehog sample pages. The pages, if approved by Archie Comics, would be passed onto Sega, the company that held the Sonic license, for their approval. If they gave me the thumb’s up, then I could be added to the roster of Sonic the Hedgehog artists for occasional work on the Sonic comic books.
At the time, Sonic was really on the rise. Archie Comics had held the license for a couple of years before this. I’d paid little attention to the book as it didn’t really interest me personally. I’d wrongly dismissed it as one of those odd licensed side projects Archie would occasionally take up like Teen-Age Mutant Ninja Turtles… which was another long-running hit for them… or Street Sharks… which wasn’t a hit at all. Sonic, however, was becoming a bit of a phenomenon with a fanatically loyal fan base who delved into the Sonic comic book mythology with all the passion of the most ardent Star Trek trekkie!
Like I said before, I wasn’t really a fan of the character. I played the video game but I wasn’t feverishly relentless about it and believe me. I’m not much of a video game player at all. That old Sega Genesis of mine was probably my last brush with video games. I don’t understand being an adult and playing those time-sponges. Where do people get that kind of time???
My indifference to Sonic aside, I knew that Archie paid the artists of the Sonic comic books better than they paid the artists of their regular Archie books so that’s where my interest in this came in. I was given a script and I was asked to draw a couple of pages from it. That led to the pages posted here. I submitted them to the Sonic the Hedgehog editor and hoped for the best.
I didn’t hear anything for a long time. Eventually, I did ask about the pages and I was told that Sega didn’t like them. Looking back, I have no idea if this was true or if the editor ever really submitted them. He may have rejected them himself and just didn’t want to tell me. I have no idea what happened, but at the time, Archie was keeping me very busy with regular Archie work so I wasn’t too upset about it. In fact, I was very okay with it and I never followed up with more pages.
Sonic went on to rise more and more in popularity. At one point, it became Archie Comics’ top selling book! The book’s success was somewhat tempered by the fact that Archie had to pay Sega a licensing fee but its status as a hit was undeniable. For years, at conventions, fans would come up to my table eagerly asking me if I drew Sonic the Hedgehog only to walk away disappointed when I confessed that I did not. I guess I would’ve been a rock star at conventions if I had drawn Sonic!
What do you think? Should I have given Sonic another shot? Please let me know in the comments below!