It’s been away for a while, but it’s back to kick some butt in Wild Canyon! Well, not really. But after a hiatus of a couple weeks (for even I can only read the Archie sonic comic for so long) we are back for the Fifth Anniversary Spectacular![tm] of “Sonic-Grams!” Once again, letters from the golden age of the comic book series have been hand picked, tilled from the yard, and placed upon the table for your consumption. Let us give thanks to the proverbial comic book gods of the sky for giving us this bounty of questions directed to a blue hedgehog. Or we could all just go about our business and pretend none of this ever happened.
…eh, what would be the fun in that?
Let us start with issue 14, the one where Sonic makes Tails’ wash his name off the cover. You know the one. Alicia Raymond writes in, with a dilemma only the blue dude himself can solve:
“Hedge hogging.” Oh, I get it. I like how Sonic tells this little girl to get “any ol’ adult” to help her make chili dogs. What if she ran out into the street, stopped traffic, and pulled out a random driver, demanding they help her make a plate of chili dogs to pull her sister away from the Genesis? They might press charges against her! And what if her sister is a vegetarian, Sonic? You didn’t even think of that! Maybe if the 2-player mode in Sonic 2 was a bit longer, we wouldn’t be having this problem.
John Schnider of St. Cloud, Minnesota also has a dilemma of an immense magnitude. Wow, this issue sure is chock-full of problems for everyone:
Guess I’m not the only one who wanted something more out of their Spinball adaptations. I do enjoy how Archie is willing to send a single panel to this kid just so he can become an honorary Freedom Fighter. What are the perks of such a position, anyway? Do you get half-off chili dogs at your local Coney Island? A complimentary Sonic the Hedgehog pen/pencil set? Ah, the days of youth, when wanting to be a Freedom Fighter was the most important thing in the world. I guess things were never the same after Vietnam.
Zooming ahead to issue 19 (featuring the classic “Night of 1000 Sonics!”), Erica Torre gives us a spin on a classic question:
Y’know, it’s funny. The whole confusion over Princess Sally’s species went as far back as Ben Hurst, writer for the Saturday morning show. Even he didn’t know what she was! At least by this point most people were pretty certain she was a squirrel (even if we’d only seen her fox-like dad), so asking what kind of squirrel shows that Erica cares more about this fact than the writers do. Oh man, what if Antoine was actually Sally’s secret long-lost brother?! That…would have been super creepy. Ok, never mind. At least they admit he has a tail and that he didn’t give it to Tails so he could fly. That’s just silly.
Laura Smith (man, there sure were a lot of girls who wrote to this comic) gives us our next letter:
The school of the hard knocks. Sonic, be honest. Do you really think she’s going to get that reference? Laura does point out one very important fact: Sonic doesn’t go to school. Because no one wants to read about Sonic going to classes and dealing with homework. Which is why Ken Penders thought it’d be a great idea to send Sonic to school for thirty issues!…at least that didn’t stick. Also: Sonic, you kinda skimped on the answer about Robotnik. If she had issue three, maybe she wouldn’t be asking you about his past! Coulda just said “As for Robotnik, he was just born a ‘rotten egg.’ Yuk yuk.” …oh god. I am turning into the Sonic-Gram responses. This can’t be a good thing.
Louis Alverez gives us our third letter from issue 19, asking a question people still wonder about today:
So yeah, about that Sonic movie…um…moving on. Wait a minute, what do you mean Knuckles was a coward in issue 13? He didn’t realize Sonic was the good guy, yes. But he didn’t run away from anything, or hide out. The only reason he stayed on the island is because he lives there, and…I don’t see how your opinion of Snively leads to why you watch the show. But maybe I’m thinking about this way too much.
So, normally I’d call it quits here. But since this is the Fifth Anniversary Spectacular![tm], and I skipped some weeks, let us go into the Bonus Round and pull out five more letters from the archives! Since I have no idea when I’ll do the next one. There aren’t an infinite amount of these things.
Going a year into the future, we open up issue 26 to look over Jeffery Dawson’s letter from Jacksonville, Florida:
See, everyone wants to be a Freedom Fighter. Though Sonic only promises to put in a good word for Jeffery…what, you’re not going to send him the random panel to color? At least with John Sinclair, he knew what was coming to him. Jeffery gets nothing! Although I do wonder, did anyone ever get anything in the mail confirming their “honorary Freedom Fighter” status? And yes, everyone wants to compare themselves to Sonic. Because he’s just so darn cool! Or maybe it has something to do with Sally. Don’t know all the de-tails I’m afraid.
Robert Brannon is another in a long line of kids asking about being a Freedom Fighter, but goes over Sonic’s head and straight to the source:
Wait, all you have to do is write a letter talking about something you’ve done? Why didn’t they tell the kid who wanted the panel to color! Archie could have even saved on postage! Aw geez! So, these honorary Freedom Fighters. Do they ever hang out? Do they have a secret clubhouse? Is it located in Ken Penders backyard? Because if it is that’s kinda weird. Maybe it’s at Spaziante’s garage. Don’t know why that makes more sense to me, but it does.
Issue 31, you can’t come soon enough! Peter Draper, do your thing:
Scott said it’s not Knuckles’ dad. For those who don’t know, the whole “mysterious voice” thing from the early Archie days was when Archimedes the Fire Ant decided to train Knuckles because he knew his father or something. Either way, Sonic asked Scott (the editor) if the kid was right. Couldn’t Knuckles just…I don’t know…force the editor to tell him what’s going on? Or would that just be too meta for the comic? And…wait a minute, who the heck is Dylan?!
Let me flip back to issue 29 where Adam Siegal might give me more insight to this name:
…oh…so he’s some random Freedom Fighter from the west coast that was in the Princess Sally mini-series. Basically an honorary Freedom Fighter in Sonic’s world. Maybe he had to write in and ask for the status, too. It just seems like a really random character for two separate people to write to. He’s nothing more than “Sonic lite.” And I shouldn’t point out the fact the kid was wrong about the reason he likes Dylan in the first place, but I will anyway.
And now, to finish off this Spectacular![tm], we go back to issue 31 for a letter from Melissa Kean, who sums up Sega and Sonic fandom in a way even she probably didn’t realize:
Oh, Sonic CD. The game everyone loved yet no one could play because you were on the Sega CD. And Amy Rose, the girl that confused an entire continent. At least in Japan, they knew you as the rascal. In the U.S., you were the girl that was called Princess Sally even though everyone knew you weren’t. The reason she was renamed was Sega of America’s attempt at trying to tie in the Saturday morning show to the games, even though it was pretty clear they weren’t one and the same. So when Archie felt like adapting the game, even more confusion arose. I’m sure for many it was the first time they saw the pink hedgehog’s real name. So some credit must be given to Archie for looking into it! Or maybe they just were big fans of Sonic Drift 2.
And there you have it, ten more letters in the bag. The “mailbag. Yuk yuk.” Yeah…maybe I should put these down and read some real literature. Like A Tails In Two Cities. Or Great War and Peace. Or…or…no, those are all wrong. It is happening! I can feel the editorial notes of Archie Comics filling my mind! I can picture Ian Flynn being up, over, and gone! He is juicing and jamming!
(Does this count as an audition Mr. Flynn)