The Supreme Topic of 'Other' Knowledge.

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by McGuirk, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. Pengi

    Pengi

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    That's fascinating, I've never seen the early version before - Robotnik is 95% the Saturday cartoon version, but with long sleeves (like the Spinball concept art) instead of bare arms and smaller shoulder pads. A shame Sonic's ear gets in the way, so we can't see whether the robotic arm had been established yet. Sonic's mohawk spines also have a DiC-like quality to them. That more or less clears up the mystery of why Robotnik looks the way he does on the cover - he was the DiC version (or a slightly earlier incarnation), then his face was edited into the western game version. His outfit in the interior comic (and the early newspapers strips/STC) is still a mystery though - the other artists just drew the game version.

    The Yearbook was released summer 1993, so I guess it was drawn mid-1992?
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  2. Xilla

    Xilla

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    I remember StC had already published the concept art for SatAM in an early issue, although the only piece featuring Robotnik was the one with characters being forced into his badnik machine, where he's wearing something that resembles his game costume.

    I can only guess Elson was perhaps provided with late concept art for Robotnik and the artists and writers involved in the annual were only given Sonic 1 to work with, given the zones featured and the largely absent Tails. Mark Millar once told me that when he was writing for StC, all he had to go by were copies of Sonic 1 and Streets of Rage 2 which Sega had given him.

    Wonder if StC were originally going to use the SatAM design going forward then were asked to feature the AoStH version instead as that was the cartoon that Channel 4 aired first?
     
  3. Blue Spikeball

    Blue Spikeball

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    Well, didn't Nigel Kitching say that they thought they would have had to add Snively to the comic (in the very same story that introduced Robotnik's AoStH design), but then they were told it wasn't necessary, so he altered the story and replaced Snively with Grimer? I can see the same being true for Robotnik's design. He wrote the story thinking they would have had introduce the SatAM design, but then they were told to use the AoStH design instead, so they swapped them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
  4. Pengi

    Pengi

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    You're thinking of the one on the left here, it was in Sonic the Poster Mag. Richard Elson worked on the Yearbook (published by Granddreams) first. When he heard that Fleetway was putting together a Sonic comic, his work on the Yearbook helped him get a foot in the door.

    Nigel Kitching said that Sega asked them to change the design, that they'd been sent new style guides. This was in 1994, and it affected the entire western Sonic license.

    Basically, 1994 was when the Sonic the Hedgehog and his Pals Official Stylebook & Character Manual became the new style guide that the western Sonic brand had to follow. (That back-view of Sonic is something Elson made use of a lot.) Sonic was brought more in-line with his Japanese design (though still no shoe buckle), while Tails and Robotnik's designs were derived from DiC's cartoons (specifically "Adventures of", in Robotnik's case). Tails' main stock pose is borrowed from the "Sonic the Hedgehog" cartoon's model sheets.

    However, they are not strictly the same design. In the cartoons, Tails and Dr. Robotnik had four fingers on each hand, in Sega's stylebook they have five. This is the easiest way to tell whether a piece of stock art is DiC's or Sega's.

    But it's a change that affected many products, not just Sonic the Comic and the newspaper strip. For example, the first two Troll Associates Sonic novels were based upon the Saturday morning cartoon, but from the third one onwards, Robotnik's design was swapped over to match the Stylebook. There's a lot of Sonic merch from 1994/1995 that's largely based upon the Saturday morning cartoon, but uses the AoSTH derived Robotnik, and a five fingered Sonic and Tails alongside a four fingered Sally and Antoine. In retrospect, it's surprising that Archie weren't told to change the design too.

    It's also the reason Sonic Spinball's box art was altered for the Game Gear release.

    I don't think any 1991-1993 era style guides have surfaced online.

    He said Snively was in the reference material he'd been given, so he thought he was expected to use him. But then the editor informed him that they didn't have the rights to characters created for the cartoon.

    This is alluded to in the Stylebook, where it says the "TV Characters" come under a separate licence. I don't think that section of the stylebook has ever surfaced online either, since only certain licensees would have received it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2019
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  5. Blue Spikeball

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    I've been wondering what was the logic behind that. If SoA wanted the franchise to be more in line with the cartoons, why didn't they adopt the DiC Sonic design *shudders*, rather than the Japanese design?
     
  6. Sparks

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    Kyle and Lucy: Wonderworld
    [​IMG]

    Is this new artwork? I've never seen these before.
     
  7. MainMemory

    MainMemory

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    Hey I've seen that second one, in Sonic's Schoolhouse.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. SonicGenesis89

    SonicGenesis89

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    The Special Stage art was also featured on a plastic lunch box with a matching thermos. I don't believe I've ever seen the Ice Cap one though.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
  9. Pengi

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    Richard Elson shared some original sketches for the Yearbook cover with the Sonic the Comic Facebook group.

    The lower one came as part of a set of stickers with an issue of "Sonic the Comic", around 1994. As I recall, most of the stickers used artwork directly from the 1994 style guide. If anyone still has these stickers (or this style guide), then it would be great to see them scanned.

    If anyone ever gets to interview Sega of America staff from that era, that would be a great question to ask. Buyatari posted a piece of original art indicating that the Sonic illustrations in this style guide were by Greg Martin.

    This is pure speculation, but I imagine that Sega of Japan might have leaned on Sega of America to bring their Sonic more in-line, but let them do their own thing with the other characters.
     
  10. Blue Spikeball

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    And then there was the Sonic Chaos SMS title screen, where we see the opposite: a DiC-looking Sonic and Japanese Tails :psyduck:

    Gotta love SoA's consistency.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  11. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    My internet was down over the weekend, so I found myself gutting tat out from my images folder.

    [​IMG]

    Here's a thing - Dust Hill Zone, also known as "not Dust Hill Zone". A bit of fiddling and you can align it to a 16x16 grid, and see all the duplicate and mirrored tiles (proving that these were intended to be real in-game graphics, if such proof was needed).

    1) The background lines up perfectly with the foreground (yay mockups!)

    2) The platform with the crocodile does not line up perfectly with the foreground (yay objects!)

    3) The flowers on top of the cacti look as if they're borrowed from Sonic 1 (yay cheating!):

    [​IMG]

    There's been some slight modifications (I think the blocks in the top right are modified Labyrinth Zone tiles too), but I am relatively sure this is a thing.
     
  12. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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  13. MH MD

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    Exactly 10 years ago, "Project Needlemouse" was teased to the world, people were hopeful, but we all know how that turned out.
    ....i feel old.
     
  14. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    We should have suspected as soon as they chose a bad translation of harinezumi/hedgehog as the project name.
     
  15. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

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    More likely they were using the internet fame of the "Mr. Needlemouse" concept art for marketing purposes, rather than a mistranslation. Still a stupid move either way.
     
  16. ICEknight

    ICEknight

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    I mean, that's the mistranslation. SEGA never said "Mr. Needlemouse" back then, it was a goof by that "Bad Influence" TV program.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2019
  17. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

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    For some reason I was thinking Mr. Needlemouse was written in English on the image, double-checked and I was wrong. My bad.
     
  18. Pengi

    Pengi

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    It was the same in the second Yearbook, which Barry Tomlinson edited (the writers/artists weren't credited).
     
  19. Blue Spikeball

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    Shouldn't the old pics be replaced with the original, higher res scans shared by MrMchanic?
     
  20. XCubed

    XCubed

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    Damn.....

    Luckily we were given a dose of REAL hope in 2016. I'm still pissed that they left the story of Sonic 4 unresolved. In the original timeline Little Planet is still a dead-in-space Death Egg Mk. II. Luckily in the Mania Universe that never happened and that's where I choose to live anyway.