Sadly, there has not been a new BumbleKast in a month, but understandably, Ian has been busy between convention appearances and the extremely successful launch of his new book! Yet to make up for it, episode 66 consisted exclusively of Q&A! Not only that, but there was some truly excellent questions with some interesting and insightful answers! Topics included: The nature of Classic Sonic and his timeline, the appearance of new characters like Sticks, and the fate of the Archie run. You can check out the full video below and check out the transcript of the IDW Sonic relevant questions below
Q: Ian, the plot wasn’t what I was worried about in the Two-Worlds Canon. What I was worried about was the fact, that it’s basically going against inclusion, integration, whatever other words one could throw out there to describe both humans and “Mobians” living in the same lands . Stop dancing around it like it’s a question of plot. It’s a question of setting. Are we to assume that both “Mobians” and humans are separated because of the Two-worlds canon. I’m sorry for egging you on about this, but the integration that we had in the post reboot was extremely important to me and other because it made a believable world.
A: It really is a question of plot because the question of setting is established, that was answered last time. Animal world. Human world. Animals are in animal world. Humans are in human world. That’s it. That’s how it is in the games. That’s how it was in Sonic X. That’s what we are taking our cue from. That’s what it is. That’s it. The inclusion in the post-reboot run of the books was an accident to be perfectly honest because we didn’t know about the Two-Worlds thing. Had I known about the Two-Worlds thing when we were doing the reboot it would have been two worlds. And it’s not like having the humans and the animals intermingling as if they were always like that is something that is regular to sonic, cause its not, that’s more like a Dragonball sort of thing. It’s not really intrinsic to Sonic at all. We covered this last time, we didn’t know there were two worlds until it was spelt out for us. And it really hasn’t been a factor in terms of setting or story line in any of the games. If there are people walking around you can go ,”Oh, we’re in the human world. OK, move on.” Don’t see any people? Well it’s the animal world. So if you’re playing Sonic Forces and you’re wondering why GUN isn’t doing anything, well do you see any people? No? Animal world, therefore Gun’s not there. Boom simple. It’s that straightforward. And it really isn’t going to affect the book for the first year and probably not for the first three years if things go the way I think they will. Maybe we can get down the line and explore the idea of the two worlds in more depth, but the general feeling I get from people is that they don’t want me to. I’m in no rush to do so. I’m sorry if that is a priority for you as a fan of the series, but it is not something I am going to be dealing with fresh out of the gate.
Once again, Flynn makes is laboriously clear that the Two-Worlds system is the system the new comics will operate under. This is the canon, official view handed down from SEGA and Flynn nor IDW will be straying from it. I believe people are putting too fine a point on it, given Flynn’s accurate argument that it has never affected anything and has no need to now.
While this may have been the way SEGA always intended it, the early foundations of Sonic were not so clear and Western Sonic media like the cartoons and Archie comics assumed one unified world. It may be hard for some to abandon that idea, but that is just the way the cookie crumbles…or perhaps…the egg cracks?
Q: Considering that you have made it clear that none of the Archie cast are returning for the IDW comics (Kyle: Which I don’t think that’s exactly how that’s been phrased), could you perhaps ask Aleah to elaborate on the either the eventual fates and/or backstories of Cassia and Clove? Also, could you perhaps elaborate on the planned backstory for Bunnie in the reboot. It seemed like she was going to be revealed to be originate from the Sol dimension and I was wondering why this was.
A: #1) None of the Archie stuff is coming over because…reasons. At least not now because with IDW: It’s a new publisher. It’s a new contract. It’s a new relationship. So, we need to establish IDW Sonic first before we start looking at bringing in characters from any other incarnation of the series. There are certainly characters from my old run that I would love to bring over if the opportunity appeared, but I don’t know how viable that is. I even don’t know if that’s a possibility. For now I’m just saying, “Nope, off-limits.” just to be safe because that’s probably how it’s going to be. Maybe I’ll be wrong, who knows, but issue #2 is out. It’s a littler early to say what the future of the book is at this point.
#2) As for what Aleah’s plan was for Cassia and clove, or our plans for the future of the run of that book, or Evan’s plans for the Silver side of things, or whatever Tracy Yardley would have planned. I am hesitant to trot that out there because, as fans have pointed out a lot, IDW is famous for picking up incomplete, old runs and seeing them through to the end. So, there is a slim possibility that maybe someday -maybe-, -MAYBE-, the old run of the book might see some form of conclusion. So, I don’t want to trot out all our ideas before I know if that’s a possibility or not. That is a gigantic maybe. It could be that we never see that side of things again. If we reach a point where that seems clear then Lost Hedgehog Tales will include a chapter for that sort of thing. and Lost Hedgehog Tales is still a thing, it’s just… stuff. I’ll get to it, I promise. I promised. I’ll get to it, just not nearly as soon as I thought I would.
#3) As for Bunnie, I put a lot of effort in the old, old run of that book, on who she was, where she came from, what that part of the world was, and how it played into the greater mythos and yadda yadda, and all of that had to be expunged with the reboot. With all of that gone, with no way to even salvage or rebuild it, I wanted to do something unique for her that would have tied into a new backstory and a new mythos for her specifically so that she could stand out as her own character because Bunnie is fricking awesome. I don’t want to get into the details because as we mentioned maybe we’ll get to it one day, but the thinking behind a new backstory for Bunnie was we couldn’t do anything like we had before, let’s do something new, let’s just go crazy with it because what’s stopping us?
Likewise, once again Ian accentuates that the Freedom Fighters nor any other Archie characters will be making an appearance anytime soon. My opinion is while they were great characters, they may not be a place for them in this book. They were really the core of the book. In this new world I cannot quite see them taking the vital roles they did before without severely compromising the book. We shall see, Flynn is a master at fitting in plot devices that you would not think could fit.
Q: At some point in the IDW Sonic when will be see the IDW version of Sticks show up and be part of that universe? In fact, could her and IDW Amy Rose become BFFs?
A: We’ll work backwards on that. As far as I can tell, the canon version of Sticks is that she is always friends with Amy . So, that can just be assumed, I guess. When, where, and how we introduce Sticks to the comic, I am not going to say because that would be “spoilerific”. I’m sure she is going to show up at some point because she’s super popular. She’s like the only spin-off material that has bridged the gap into main canon that I can think of off the top of my head. I’m not counting the Freedom Fighters showing up in Spinball. That doesn’t count.
For all the mixed feelings people have toward Sonic Boom, they seem to love Sticks. Flynn was very positive about her finding her way into the Modern Sonic property and I can totally see a conspiracy driven loner fitting into the dark, war-torn world of the new book. Interestingly, the recent Sonic Battle Racers board game is using the Modern Sonic property, but the game designers loved Sticks so much that they asked SEGA if they could include her, and they let them! This shows SEGA has confidence in Sticks’ ability to be a popular mainstream character and could make the jump in other media as well!
Q: Because SEGA has confirmed Classic is from another dimension and not just a younger Modern. Does that mean in IDW that Sonic’s earliest adventure that we know of is Sonic Adventure? If so, how does SEGA explain the references to Sonic CD and Sonic 3 & Knuckles?
A: OK, buckle up. This is how I’m approaching it. I cannot speak for SEGA and how they will approach the game canon, but let me stipulate this yet again, the comics are their own canon. They are inspired by the games, but they are not 1:1. So, what happens in the comic does not necessarily reflect the wishes and plans and desires of SEGA. How does this work? Classic Sonic is past Sonic. So, Sonic 1, Sonic 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles, CD, all that jazz happened. Sonic Generations comes around and time starts getting all “wibbly wobbly” because of the Time Eater. Modern Sonic and Classic Sonic cross paths. We see their shared past, we see their shared potential future, and somehow the erased timeline from Sonic 06 is in there, run with it. Then Sonic Mania happens and we get a divergent timeline because of the interaction of the Phantom Ruby and the Chaos Emeralds, Classic sonic was beamed into Modern Sonic’s era, then beamed back and that causes a split. So Classic Sonic is both the past and a separate dimension.
That’s my answer and I’m sticking to it until I’m told to do something different. Now, how this will affect the book? It won’t. Because whereas my previous efforts were really focused on tying together past, present, future, all one giant quilt of lore, This time around I’m primarily focused on building forward. Sonic has had previous adventures. Do you want to say it started at Sonic Adventure? Primo. Cool. Do you want to say it started back at Sonic 1? Awesome, we’re on the same page. They all happened, past tense. We’re moving forward, and we will build from there.
I’m also excited about it because it presents Classic as its own thing now. So, if we were ever tot delve into the Classic side of things, I don’t have to worry about, OK, whatever happens in the Classic era has to sync up with Modern.
Q: When Ian talks about his plans for year one, does he mean the first 12 issues in the subsequent years are synced with calendar years, or does he mean first 12 months ending one year after the comic’s debut, which thanks to April’s issues means 16 issues.
A: I’m treating it as issues 1 through 12, and because of the April release, I was pretty sure issue 12 came out in December, but my math could be wrong on that. The first 12 months would be the first 12 issues, normally. So, that’s what I’m counting as my year 1. That’s the arc I have in mind. That’s what’s been planned out. Because April has 4 issues in that month, it gets a little funky, but we also are going to make up for that because it could have started in January. It’s issue 1-12. Year 1 is #1-12.
Q: Even though Sonic is the main focused of the new comic, will the other characters be allowed to have story arcs centered around them from time to time?
A: Sure? Again, issue #2 just came out last week. I got the first year-ish planned out. The book is so new; there are so many possibilities. Given how incredibly well received the book has been already, I would be surprised if we didn’t get opportunities to spin-off here and there to explore the other characters. I think that issue #2 itself is a good example of how we can have Sonic as the main character, but really if you read the issue, Amy is the star of #2 when you get down to it. She has the largest arc within it, but Sonic is still the driving force. We’ll see other characters get the lime light, that’s for sure.
Q: Is it permitted for you to introduce Tiara and Gazebo Boobowski in the IDW comics? Is this an idea in which you are still interested?
A: I was, I really was. I had an outline… I did want to bring Tiara into the mix, even as far back as the old run. I even went so far as to reach out to Chris Senn to get a lay of the land. He was super cool to talk to, super generous, very cool to work with, as brief as it was. But the more I looked into it, the more issues cropped up, not to put too fine a point on it. None of it on Chris’ end. Chris Senn is a wonderful dude and super cool, but there were other things beyond him that got in the way. So, there might be, no, I’m not even going to tease it. I didn’t think Tiara and Gazebo are accessible for…reasons.