Which is why myself and fellow illustrator Mike Smith (and Mike's girlfriend Laura, but I haven't mentioned her before now) took a trip to London over the weekend to swoon over a bunch of people and things that half my audience have no idea who or what they are. And this blog post is gonna chronicle that day! Enjoy! (Why do you people even read this part of the website?)
Also it would be nice if half the signs in London didn't just say something to the effect of "this sign has no useful information. Try a different one". Londoners are always complaining about tourists constantly asking for directions. But really, can you blame them? It was honestly easier finding my way around Wrexham, and all the signs over there are written in Welsh for crying out loud.
Nevertheless, I did eventually find my way to the convention hall after I met another confused person trying to find their way around. We figured out we were going to the same place when we realized we were wearing identical t-shirts, and once the dust cleared from the ensuing cat fight, we co-operated in a joint effort to locate the venue (on a street that had no sign post, I might add).
Once inside, me, Laura and Mike were immediately accosted by the paparazzi (it's like I can't go anywhere without people wanting to take photos of my chiseled good looks, you know?)
The first event of the day that I couldn't miss was getting to meet Nigel Kitching, of Sonic the Comic fame. For those of you not in the know, Sonic the Comic was essentially the UK's alternative to the American Sonic comics published by Archie. They were also far superior to Archie. Yes, I said it, fight me IRL. How can you read this awesome comic? Well sadly, they don't print it any more, because lady luck is a cruel, heartless wench. Though I suppose you could try Comical Games. Anyway, the point is, what Nigel Kitching was to this comic's universe was essentially what Stan Lee was to the Marvel Universe in the 60s. I would undoubtedly be a very different person today without this man right here:
My first thoughts on the game are that I'm actually kind of disappointed that it isn't just a cross between this, and this.
But my other thoughts on the game are that it seems to have pretty tight controls. A little weird but tight; you're essentially running around a cylinder shaped level for a lot, if not all of the time, as far as I can tell. On the down side the sense of breakneck speed feels nerfed compared Sonic Unleashed, Sonic Colours and Sonic Generations, and I will definitely miss that. The Sonic games are not just speed = success formula, true, but that spectacle in the previous games was exhilarating.
But aside from just the top speed which the new engine is capable of simulating, with these new physics, side stepping seems to slow you down a disproportionate amount. That said it seems like they're trying to cater to both fans of the fast approach and slow approach. The thing that concerns me the most though is that the tube based level design thing they have going seems like it might make things a bit linear. In general I'm still on the fence about it. Keep in mind though, everything in the past two paragraphs was extrapolated from maybe five minutes of actual game time. I stand by what I said about Sonic showing up in the middle of Jurassic Park for no reason though.
I did get one or two pics with some people in creative and really well put together duds, but that's literally about it. One or two pics. And with that many, I haven't really represented the fact that there was some really close competition for the event's cosplay contest. I filmed this myself, but I was using a cracked up phone whilst sat in the middle of the crowd. Believe me, you're better off with the official Sonic Show coverage:
If you can believe it, even though this blog is several thousand words long I had some stuff I had to cut out of the main bit because it didn't really fit anywhere. Still worth mentioning though:
To learn more about STC (that comic I was gushing over earlier), listen to this awesome podcast.
I should mention that Nigel Dobbyn and Ferran Rodriguez, STC alumni staff like Kitching, were also there. They are also awesome and I did try to go back to grab some signatures from them too, but I didn't want to hold up the line a ton to see three guests all at once, so I decided to go back later. Turns out the line was about ten times longer than it was in the morning by the time I got around to that though.
One last thing, Mike did a Knuckles sketch in the Nigel Dobbyn style. It's very faithful to that particular character model. Trust me on this: