Ben Bates and Sally’s tail

You want a cite? Here’s your cite. Issue #223, Ben Bates draws Sally’s tail like she belongs in Minecraft.

(Guest Submission)
Oh for the love of god. Really? I thought we were complaining about the long ‘fluffy’ tails like Geoffery’s being drawn angular or something, not complaining about Sally again. That tail looks fine with the SEGA style. Have you ever noticed Knuckles’ tail? Ever? It’s nothing but kinks and angles. This isn’t even all that angular, it’s got very defined curves and- this is my comeuppance for being so anal retentive about other things before, isn’t it? At least I admit I’m insane.

I'm gonna be honest: Why do you like Ben Bates when he draws characters with blocky tails, super-deformed proportions, and an unnecessary amount of cuteness?

I could answer every point of that line of questioning with ‘Because I like that stylistic choice’- and that’s pretty much what it is. But I’ll try to avoid doing that too much.

1. I went and had a look to see if I could find what you’re talking about it. If you could cite me an issue on that we’ll see. That could be an issue with one of the inkers- I’ve complained before about one of the inkers putting unnecessary edges on things before.

2. Perhaps I’m not grasping the jist of this argument- Sonic’s head is his largest feature with a tiny little torso, feet larger than his torso, and hands that fall somewhere between the size of his feet and torso.

The proportions aren’t exactly realistic in any sense. Unless you mean for female characters like Sally and Bunnie and how they’ve changed over the years from a cartoony set of proportions to a more ‘human’ set of proportions and then back again. I think the cartoon look fits better for the world’s aesthetics and makes everything more cohesive.

I really don’t see how Ben Bate’s art is anymore proportionally ‘incorrect’ than this is or the SEGA!Sonic I put above.

3. Failing to see the ‘unnecessary’ amounts of cuteness thing too. The pupils on the character’s eyes could possible stand to be a little less wide for a more slim, narrow look, but after that it’d be on par with the standards SEGA has more or less set themselves. That’s including things like giving female characters small mouths.

But to answer your overall question- I like Ben Bates because I do. If you don’t like his stuff, well fuck sorry to hear that.

Archie has a new Sonic comic out in the form of Sonic Super Digest, which contains excerpts from various comics. Its really jarring seeing the different art types. Out of all of them, do you have a personal favorite? Lets have some positiveness for once!

'Some positiveness for once'? You say that as if I've never shamelessly gushed over Ben Bates' art before.

So... you heard about the Penders case reaching a settlement?

Have now.


(Sonic Issue #243, Pencils: Steven Butler, Inks: Terry Austin)

(Guest Submission)

My front page is almost all text posts and that’s nooo good.

Various notes answered below the read more.

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I just wanted to let you know that the Sonic Comic Encyclopedia actually has a little panel with the Locke meme face (Locke and Lara with baby Knuckles). I doubt that's a coincidence. No scan, sadly, just a heads up.

I saw it! I don’t know if that was a conscious choice or the only panel they had with a shot of baby Knuckles and family worth using, but it gave me a chuckle.

On Sonic fandoms and personality disorders: I heard a theory at one point that autists have trouble with expressions and faces etc., and the Sonic characters have these huge eyes and mouths and ears that help make their emotions very obvious. It's easy to see how someone could latch onto that.

I think that’s part of the appeal of cartoon characters in general. Felix the cat, Mickey Mouse, etc. Well designed cartoons are often built around their ability to express strongly in all aspects, both in facial and body movement.


Sonic is designed to be appealing to children, despite how large of an adult fanbase the franchise has. It’s bright and colourful, usually expressive, and it’s meant to be fun. However just because something is aimed at children doesn’t mean children will be the only fans of a franchise- especially when you consider how long Sonic has been around. A lot of people have grown up with Sonic, and the franchise has become part of the experience of their life.

Consider other franchises meant for a young audience that are well loved by those outside of it’s target demographic- Adventure Time and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, for instance. You could argue that both have elements in them designed to entertain adult audiences (jokes that children won’t get, for instance), but that’s often not the only thing that fans love. People simply find something to love about whatever it is they’re a fan of- it could be the art, a sense of innocence, etc. And that includes people who have mental illness, personality disorders, cognitive/developmental disorders, etc. Often times when someone enjoys something they’ll search for a way to express that enjoyment. That’s why you get so much fan art, stories, and songs. And sometimes that’s expressed in a way that’s not socially acceptable for whatever reason, either because the person is not mentally able to discern what -is- socially acceptable or even because they don’t care.

As I said, Sonic isn’t special. It’s just big and obvious. And now I’m going to add ‘been around for years’. Things accumulate baggage after years. What do you know of the current Rescue Ranger fandom, for instance?

Anyway, that’s all I’m going to say on the subject. Any further messages on it won’t be answered. This blog is Disqus enabled.

So what's with Sonic fans and personality disorders?

You find personality disorders everywhere. Sonic fandom isn’t special, it’s just massive and therefor the problem parts are larger and it’s easier to find clusters of.

How often do you hear people talking about the ‘good’ part of the fandom anyway? Not often. It’s not interesting. No one cares except those invested into making sure a clean house is presented. But the problem parts you can break out the popcorn and go “look at those freaks! God, what total morons!

Much more entertaining. Pretty much built into human nature. Part of why I’ve only put up professionally published work. It’s too easy to do and too unfair otherwise.

Wait, what's this about a sega mandate regarding relatives of existing characters? I haven't heard of this before you mentioned it.

I don’t know details beyond hearsay and what can be currently seen in the book. There has been an observation that characters have stopped referring to relatives with any term linked to family relationships. I can’t remember if Uncle Chuck is exempt from that or not without pulling out the books themselves, but I know there was a scene not too long ago with Tails feeling upset and his father going to comfort him without any reference to familial ties.

It’s handled well enough where you don’t quite notice it but when you’re aware of it it becomes one of those ‘Huh. That’s weird’ moments.