Was the 90's Sonic fandom in the west really dominated by the cartoons and comics?

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Frostav, Sep 27, 2021.

  1. JaxTH

    JaxTH

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    Jack shit.
    <3

    I also remember your Gargoyles website. Speaking of that, did you ever watch the DuckTales reboot?
     
  2. Quexinos

    Quexinos

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    DID I WATCH THE DUCKTALES REBOOT? Fuck yeah I did. I loved that show... I was so disappointed when I found out they only had 3 seasons. They really could have gone further. There was a ton of things they could have explored.

    I know they're making a Darkwing Duck reboot but... I just really wanted more DuckTales. They did such an amazing job... I'm glad they finished it before it got stale but I really think it could have gone for a few more seasons.
     
  3. JaxTH

    JaxTH

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    Jack shit.
    You should join the discord and chat with us every once in a while.
     
  4. Quexinos

    Quexinos

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    There's a discord?
     
  5. Yash

    Yash

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    Thank you for reminding me of that commercial - it cracked me the hell up as a small child.

    “But it’s-a-me, Mario!”
    “Yeah, tell it to the judge.”
     
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  6. Xiao Hayes

    Xiao Hayes

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    My turn.

    I'll be 41 in a little bit than a month, which mean I already had a two-number age when Sonic came out.

    To put a setting for you, while everyone knew who Sonic was, Mario still reigned around because Mega Drive was more expensive and not everyone who bought one liked the game packed in. I got my MSII at the beginning of 1994 and my MD at the end of 1995, so I depended on other people to try the main games, which included my aunt who let me ply it on Christmas and maybe summer, a close friend whose trust I abused when he rented Sonic 3, and whoever thought creating arcade cabinets with console games on them that resetted after the timer run out (5 minutes per coin) was a good idea (good for S2 vs gameplay, at least).

    Here, there were no comics of Sonic back then, so that rules them out for me. The closest I got to know about Sonic printed media (besides game magazines) was some book about Sonic I once saw advertised on a magazine that wasn't even a videogame one (maybe a toy catalogue?). That left me only with the shows as an exposure to the other media; well two of them, I had even less idea about Sonic Underground than I had about the comics.

    I watched the whole thing of AoSth, which aired on monday to friday afternoons. A former friend told me "But that show's shit!" and I answered "But it's Sonic shit!" because I was a fan and had to watch it. Then SatAM came, and that was a totally different thing. I don't know How much of it aired or how much I watched on that airing (it aired around 11:00 AM on weekends IIRC), but I was already 12 (maybe 13?) and having some kind of serious ongoing plot was a lot more satisfying, although having Sonic and Tails drawn the same way they were in AoSth was somewhat confusing because I didn't know if it was a later season or a new show. I really liked it but, you know what? I easily dismissed it once it stopped airing.

    Because that's the thing: even if I watched AoSth blindly, even if a story like SatAM suited me, being so obviously not the games immediately placed them second to said games and ignorable as soon as there was something better to pay attention to. CD was a thing I never got to play, but it was such a kind of different game than the previous ones with Amy and the time travel to entice me, I had more interest in it than any show. Sonic Chaos? I got it ASAP and I was more worried about Mecha Green Hill than I ever did about Uncle Chuck in terms of robotizing. To put it simple: when Sonic 3 was about to be released, a magazine came with a video tape for advertising; I watched it and liked it, but they added some footage of SatAM there and I thought "What is this doing here? This is no place for it!" Same thought about their presence in Spinball, though I knew of that later.

    No, my attention was with games. I was excited about Chaotix (I still wanted to play that shit after I knew it was shit), I wished Xtreme came out and wanted to have Sonic Jam if only for the 3D world and its museum (I tried it on a shopping center and knew I needed it). Then I filled the gap with Tomb Raider and came back to Sonic when Sonic Adventure games were out, with no shock about the clash of the canons besides the lame name Eggman was and will always be as a nickname. They should have go with Ivo Eggman as real name and Robotnik as the adopted villain name, something that would have worked for the comics canon too instead of having it reversed as "Ovi Kintobor" (although "Ovi" could be considered an egg reference, if you know a bit of Latin).

    A final note: I see SA2 fandom as being like the next generation of SatAM fandom because I was a bit like them with SatAM when I was at a similar age. And say what you want about the Thorndikes, but Sonic X was way better as a watered down version of the games than DiC cartoons ever were, so it was easier to tie everything up and have more plots for the same characters without deviating that much from the source material.

    That's all from my part, I think. More than enough, if you ask me.
     
  7. qwertysonic

    qwertysonic

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    I agree with Sonic X being better than any of DiC cartoons.
     
  8. Yash

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    I put SatAM above Sonic X but I realize a good part is my childhood talking. I'd probably hold Sonic X in much higher regard had I been born 5-10 years later.
     
  9. qwertysonic

    qwertysonic

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    That's fair. I was born in '91, but I didn't watch any of the DiC cartoons until college.
     
  10. If I'm being honest, SATAM is better written show but X is a better Sonic show if that makes sense.
     
  11. Yash

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    That's a fair distinction. As much as I loved SatAM and wanted to see it continue, it was never going to represent the overall direction of the franchise. Sonic X is way more in line with what the series was doing in the mid-00s. Even in the early 90s, when all you had was early Sonic canon, SatAM barely bore a passing resemblance to what it was adapting. I wouldn't be shocked if DiC just retooled something they were already working on to be a Sonic show, given that they first tried pitching AoSTH to ABC but were told they wanted something higher caliber.

    I never really had an issue with it, but I get it. There's a reason even back in the day fans were always asking when Knuckles or Metal Sonic would show up, or why Tails wasn't as prominent in SatAM as he was in AoSTH or the games, etc.

    It's kind of funny to think about this now, because the show was so terrible and it didn't have that much more to do with the games than SatAM did, but Knuckles showing up in Underground was treated like this huge event in the fandom. I remember Sonic HQ even posting a news update before his debut episode premiered on Sci-Fi reminding people to watch it.

    [​IMG]

    You had to be pretty high on some "anything Sonic is awesome" supply to enjoy this, but at the tender age of 8, I sure was and did!
     
  12. JaxTH

    JaxTH

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    Jack shit.
    I'm not quite sure why this has been said here or there over the past 20 years when this exists: https://info.sonicretro.org/Early_Sonic_the_Hedgehog_cartoon

    Sonic HQ had a page on this back then as well and I feel like Ben Hurst interviews have also said otherwise.
     
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  13. David The Lurker

    David The Lurker

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    The SatAM page is something I've been meaning to update for a while...I have most of it rewritten, just need to finish it. But.

    Yeah, SatAM was always a Sonic show. It evolved from those early images that Jax linked, so Bunnie and Rotor and Antoine did not exist in some other show. Those characters were developed after they drew those early concept drawings with Flicky and Johnny Lightfoot. AoStH was not the first show they pitched - AoStH was birthed from the idea of wanting to have Sonic air both on Saturday mornings and weekday syndication, like DiC had done with The Real Ghostbusters. ABC wanted an exclusive series, so DiC pitched a compromise - two different shows staring Sonic, ABC getting the slightly darker one. That's why the pilot of SatAM is lighter than the rest of the show, it was before the split. If ABC had been ok with the same show being syndicated, then we would have gotten 78 episodes of what the pilot was like.

    The American fandom would have been a very different beast if they didn't split the show in half, surely. There would have been a Princess Sally, but I wonder if there would have been the same reverence for the material? I doubt we'd have gotten a cliffhanger, for one. The Archie comic also wouldn't have had the cues from the SatAM we ended up getting, so maybe it wouldn't have become the longest running licensed book of all time. It's an interesting thought experiment, but I like the fact we ended up with what we have.
     
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  14. Ted618

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    Material from it ended up in a few weird places known by fans even in the 90s, including the poster magazine mentioned there - some made its way into Sega's space at Innoventions in Epcot:



    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Yash

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    Yeah, now that you mention it I do remember seeing this before, so apologies for the misstatement.

    Interesting how they seemed to be sticking closer to the Sega design for Robotnik, in addition to using the Sega of America names for the Badnik animals.
     
  16. Metalwario64

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    HAHA!

    I didn't know Underground was a thing until around 2004. My sister told me about it, but it sounded so insane I didn't believe her! XD

    I didn't really know it existed until I saw a video of it on YouTube in 2006 or so. As a result, I can only look at it and laugh, rather than look back on it fondly like I do AoSTH and SatAM.
     
  17. Ch1pper

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    I remember trying to tune in to Underground on the Sci-Fi Channel back before we got proper cable (picture was fuzzy and wavy like an old RF connection). When we did some time later, I'd watch it without a second thought. Wasn't as good as SatAM or AoStH but whatever, it was Sonic.
    And Knuckles was there! Cool!

    Then like a decade ago I found one of the Shout Factory DVD sets in a record store. Watched it and... ugh... the internet had been right the whole time.
     
  18. saxman

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    I have only ever seen a single episode, and that was probably within the last ten years. It was pretty cringeworthy. If Sonic's siblings (and *especially* his sister) were voiced by someone other than Jaleel White, it would have been better. If the singing had been done by people who could actually sing, it would have been better. If there was no singing at all, that would have been even better. Those were the flaws that prevented me from watching a second episode.

    That said, when I watch SatAM today, it does get a tad bit cringeworthy from time to time, despite absolutely loving it when I was younger. But it's still a pretty good show overall. I had wished as a kid that Sega would orient the games more around it. I still think one SatAM-themed game might have been really neat to see.
     
  19. qwertysonic

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    I didn't watch any of them as a kid so I think they're all cringe worthy now, but dang that Sonic Underground intro is a real banger.
     
  20. Yash

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    Roughly the same experience here. At the time I liked it because it was more Sonic, even though I would have gladly traded it for a season 3 of SatAM. I also thought its own lore was cool enough and I was even a little hyped when Archie planned on giving it a proper conclusion through Sonic Universe. I always felt like it had way too much going on in its background for what was essentially an episodic series - knowing that Ben Hurst and Pat Allee were heavily involved in writing it (and got Len Janson to write a few episodes) probably goes a long way towards explaining that. The episodic format and the forced musical numbers probably hurt a lot of what they wanted to do with it, but I think it had potential, and had a few interesting concepts in its own right. I thought it was neat for example how Robotnik was still a dictator, but compared to SatAM where it seemed like the entire world was his robotic hellscape outside of a few pockets of Freedom Fighters, Underground still had a semi-functional society and they were able to (very lightly) touch on class politics and such.

    All that being said, and having watched it religiously as a kid - watched a few episodes when it was added to some streaming service briefly a few years ago, absolutely hated it. I can still watch SatAM, AoSTH and Sonic X, but Underground is just bad, man.