Ian Flynn interview by Sonic Stadium (November 7, 2010)
From Sonic Retro
The Sonic Stadium: Hello Mr. Flynn, thank you for taking the time to talk with us today!
Ian Flynn: My pleasure!
The Sonic Stadium: When where you approached with the Sonic Colors adaption?
Ian Flynn: If memory serves, it wasn’t too long after the first public announcement.
The Sonic Stadium: How did it interfere with the plans you already had for the book?
Ian Flynn: It didn’t, really. “Welcome Back, Chao!” was originally going to be two parts, but we were already thinking it was a bit too slow paced. We condensed it down to one and put in “Sonic Colors” in its place. One or two back-ups had to be shuffled around as well, but that happens all the time.
The Sonic Stadium: How did the development of the script differentiate from the development of a typical Sonic comic script?
Ian Flynn: Not much. The only real difference was that, instead of me coming up with the story on my own, SEGA supplied us with the English script and some concept art. The rest of the process happened as per usual.
The Sonic Stadium: What sorts of materials did you have access to from the game during the script’s development?
Ian Flynn: I guess I got a little ahead of myself with that last question! SEGA provided us with the English script and concept art for the updated Orbot, for Cubot and all the Wisps. There was level concept art and videos, primarily of the opening sequence and CGI promotional stuff.
The Sonic Stadium: This is…I believe the third game adaption in the book to use the setting “Another Time, Another Place”.
Do these stories all take place in the same universe?
Ian Flynn: They could be – call it the “SegaSonic Universe” if you like. Or they could each be their own zone. It’s entirely up to the preference of the reader.
The Sonic Stadium: Are these stories basically meant to take place in the game canon?
Ian Flynn: More or less, but it varies from project to project. The “Sonic and the Black Knight” tie-in was almost shot-for-shot, word-for-word the opening sequence so it’s obviously the same thing. “Sonic Colors” will be a little more liberal, but it’s still true to the source, so you can take it as a retelling or a synopsis.
The Sonic Stadium: Will we be seeing Orbot, Cubot, or Yacker in this adaption?
Ian Flynn: Yes on all three counts!
The Sonic Stadium: Do you have to work under any special restrictions for these types of stories?
Ian Flynn: Aside from the tighter deadline, we really have to be true to the SegaSonic art style and accurate to the story. For instance, I couldn’t add Amy into the story if I wanted because she isn’t in the Wii version, and that’s the version we’re adapting.
The Sonic Stadium: Back in the day, the comics use to reserve substantially more space for in-continuity adaptions of the games. Why don’t we see those anymore? Might we ever see them again?
Ian Flynn: Part of it stems from the game’s having much bigger stories. The more involved the game plot, the harder it is to integrate it into the comic’s plot. This ties directly into the next issue, which is time. We usually work six months ahead, and the game tie-ins are usually requested with much less time to work with. This means adjusting the publishing schedule, the story order, and taking the plot of the game and whatever’s currently going on into account. Add on top of that the higher level of scrutiny since it’s a direct tie-in story, and it simply becomes unfeasible to do stuff like the Sonic Adventure tie-ins. For now and the foreseeable future, we’re sticking with the elegantly simple “Another Time, Another Place” option.
The Sonic Stadium: Many ask why the Archie comics do not simply base a comic in the game continuity, either as a reboot or as another series. Would you run into any problems – beyond angry fans who enjoy the current comic canon – with such a move? Would there be any restrictions writing a comic in the game canon that you don’t currently work under in the comic’s own canon?
Ian Flynn: We’ve considered a SegaSonic companion book, but never seriously pursued it. The ArchieSonic canon is hard enough for new readers to keep track of without having a totally different canon to follow as well. “Sonic X” had a little bit of this problem, but we mostly solved it by making it very continuity light.
Additionally, SEGA is very protective of their material, and rightfully so. But that means the SegaSonic cast is perpetually stuck in their present characterizations. The ArchieSonic cast and world give us the means to tell compelling stories where individuals grow and develop. Come for the Sonic, stay for the story.
The Sonic Stadium: Will we be seeing any of Sonic Colors’ characters appear in the main book? Orbot already has quite a following from his Sonic Unleashed appearance.
Ian Flynn: That all depends on SEGA. Orbot and Cubot would fit right in, and the Wisps would certainly make enough sense given all the other aliens running around. You’ll just have to wait and see.
The Sonic Stadium: Have you had a chance to play Sonic Colors yet?
Ian Flynn: Unfortunately, no, but I do have it pre-ordered. (I. Must. Have. That. HAT!)
The Sonic Stadium: Thank you for your time Mr. Flynn
Ian Flynn: My pleasure.