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About Literature / Artist Premium Member Daniel J. Drazen62/Male/United States Recent Activity
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DanDrazen
Daniel J. Drazen
Artist | Literature
United States
Current Residence: Berrien Springs, Michigan
Favourite genre of music: Classic rock ... well OK, NOW it's classic
Favourite photographer: Diane Arbus
Favourite style of art: Open to anything
Operating System: Windows 7
Skin of choice: My own
Favourite cartoon character: Princess Sally, from SatAM "Sonic"
Personal Quote: "Tether even a roasted chicken"
Interests
It seems like the Sonic comics aren't the only ones being beset by bad craziness in the industry.

Yesterday there was a report that, in what feels like a desperation bid for relevancy, Archie Andrews himself will be assassinated. Srsly. An older Archie is supposed to take a bullet meant for Kevin Keller, now a Senator pushing for stricter gun control. I'm sorry but this feels like the kind of "redeeming social importance" that filmmakers used to ladle onto porno before it took the leap from soft to hard core in the 1970s.

And this morning I learn that Marvel will be performing a sex change on the Mighty Thor and turning him into a her. Srsly. This is not supposed to be a temporary gender-bender like the celebrated manga "Ranma 1/2" by Rumiko Takahashi, or played for laughs like the animated series "Shezow." Still, I'm hard pressed to figure out what's going on here. There's a part of me that thinks "Well, Marvel DOES belong to Disney now and they're always in the market for a new Princess." I doubt that Chris Hemsworth was consulted about this.

These are the sort of moves that make continuity resets seem logical but which also make the comic book industry as a whole appear to be hopelessly lost. Srsly.

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:iconwillkeaton:
WillKeaton Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2014
Hey, Dan, and all of Dan's followers. Remember that Sonic Boom TV show that's going to be airing this fall? Well Archie comics is going to be making a tie-in comic series for the show. www.screwattack.com/news/archi…
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:icondandrazen:
DanDrazen Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2014   Writer
No surprise there. Archie has become part of the Sega marketing machinery, after 20 years of not really being exploited properly.
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:iconheroman778:
Heroman778 Featured By Owner May 20, 2014   Artist
Thanks for +fav 
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:iconkell0x:
Kell0x Featured By Owner May 8, 2014  Student General Artist
Thanks for the fave
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:iconmobian-knight:
mobian-knight Featured By Owner May 8, 2014
Hi Dan,

I just wanted say that I'm a fan of the Sonic fanfiction that you have written over the years.  Between you and Bookshire, as well as others a wonderful Mobian culture was conceived of that continues to endure, at least amongst the older fans anyway.  I hope that you'll get around to writing more someday; hopefully not based on that Archie NU252 abomination.  I've been reading through "Runaway" again, and it's definitely my favorite.  I love the world building that you put into it, delving into your version of Bunnie's family and their customs and traditions, and who they were as a people on a deep level.  Your fanfiction is a monument to what the Sonic fandom used to be before the Flynn's Gate cultists hijacked it.
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:icondandrazen:
DanDrazen Featured By Owner May 9, 2014   Writer
Thanks for the kind words.

All writers have their limitations. For me, I liked Ian's work (especially his rather demented Sonic-Teletubbies crossover), but by focusing on Action and More Action he's limiting himself too severely.

Some of the problem, however, may lie with Archie's obsolete notions of what sells to the pre-adolescent boy audience. They don't seem to realize we live in a time when a dA group such as Sonic-Rainboom can attract almost 900 members and the film "Frozen" has become the most successful animated feature of all time grossing over a billion (with a B) dollars.

IMO the inability to use Heart well and regularly helps explain the weakness in the Archie stories. My philosophy is: Action makes you want to read the story, Heart makes you want to read it again.
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:iconmobian-knight:
mobian-knight Featured By Owner May 16, 2014
First off, the Sonic-Teletubbies crossover: was that in Archie Sonic after Ian came on as writer, or was that some fanfiction that he wrote?  Thank God, Teletubbies is a distant memory.

I'm not so sure that the target audience for the series has been pre-adolescent boys, nor should it be.  Back when Penders was the writer, the target audience seemed to be teens and older.  It wasn't pre-adolescents creating all of those fan-sites on Geocities back in the day.  It was mostly teenagers both male and female.  If they've narrowed their target audience to pre-ado boys then they've editorially shot themselves in the foot.  And the sales numbers according to Comichon are beginning to show it.

For me I liked Ian's writing before 175, for the most part anyway.  In the beginning his style was refreshing and new, but after 175 Archie and/or Ian started trying to push more of a SEGA-fied feel to the comic at the cost of who the characters were, and who the Mobians were as a civilization.  They went from being a people capable of fighting the Great War, to being completely helpless and needing Sonic to save them.  The Egg Fleet was able to just fly right into Knothole without being challenged as though the Mobians had never heard of radar let alone an integrated air defense system.

You would think that as the capital of a society that had been on the receiving end of perpetual genocide that there would be a pretty significant ADIZ around Knothole; the same goes for New Mobitropolis.  And whatever happened to their hovercraft technology?  Why are they flying in propeller aircraft?  We're really supposed to believe that Sally flew all the way across the Pacific, or whatever they call it, clinging to the wing of Tails' slow biplane, round trip?

What killed it for me though was that atrocious Mecha Sally arc, or perhaps it should be called the Juvenile Shock Value arc.  At some point long before 225, Ian stopped seeing the characters as people.  He started seeing them as empty hollow plastic dolls that existed only to fit stereotypes as he saw them.  As an example, this is were Sally being defined as a "Tomboy Princess" comes from.  Nobody, and I mean nobody, ever thought of Sally as a tomboy before Ian framed her that way.

It is from this frame of mind (and I use the word "mind" loosely) that Ian or somebody at Archie decided that the SatAM characters were "old and niche" and needed a redesign.  Ian then proceeded with his story where Sally was the victim of the world roboticizer, and then had her mutilated and violated all for the sole purpose that when she was to be de-roboticized she would have a new "design" that she and her friends would love without reservation, and would be sold as cool and trendy to the readers.  In order for Sally's redesign to work, you have to stop seeing her as a person, and see her only as a plastic doll that can be remodeled in-story without there being deeper ramifications and consequences.

This would be like if someone at Disney decided that Tinkerbell, whose appearance dates back to 1953, was "old and niche".  So in order to redesign her they make a movie where she is captured by a villian, enslaved, has her wings ripped off and replaced, has her face altered, and then to top it all off is given a new outfit by the villain who has done all of this to her.  After Tinkerbell is rescued, her new appearance from being horribly violated is celebrated as the coolest thing ever with Tinkerbell continuing to wear the outfit given to her by the villain that kidnapped and mutilated her, and being complemented by everyone for it.

The same thing is true when it comes to Bunnie, with having her run to her uncle in order to have her body mutilated in order to effect a redesign while playing this mind game that it was her "only choice", and that her new look from getting butchered is cool and awesome.

The only way Ian could have gotten out of this, is if all of this was a misdirection.  For instance Mecha Sally not really being Sally but instead being a robot clone, while the real Sally was secreted away to somewhere.  Perhaps Snively would be the one to discover this and would somehow get the word out, leading to Sally's rescue.  Bunnie's story could have also been a misdirection, where yes she did visit her uncle but it was to obtain information on Eggman or something, and in fact did not legionize herself.  She could have been pursuing her own secret mission that would eventually tie-in to the collapse of the Dark Egg Legion with the cooperation of her uncle.  Lien-Da could have also been revealed to be pursuing an agenda of revenge against Eggman and in the conclusion of the story arc could have reclaimed the Dark Legion.  That would have actually been some fantastic writing out of Ian, and would have earned him praise from everyone.  Instead Ian has reduced himself to the mindless superficial.

So in closing (I didn't mean for this comment to get so long), the problem with Archie Sonic is not just heart, although that is a huge problem on it's own.  The problems run deeper in that Ian and/or Archie do not see the characters as people, and thus the characters are not allowed to drive the story; the story drives the characters.  I forget who said it, it might have been Stan Lee, but the characters should have just as much say in what will happen as the author does.
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:icondandrazen:
DanDrazen Featured By Owner May 19, 2014   Writer
You're preaching to the choir on this one. One of the major things I've always believed is that, when writing fan fiction, you have to be able to see the world through the eyes and from inside the skin of the characters. If you can do that, you're halfway there as a writer.

A part of me thinks that Ian knew the continuity would have to be reset at some point to please Sega so things like Bunnie's being made whole, Sally's roboticiization, Antoine's supposed death, Naugus's schizophrenia, and other developments were thrown into the comic in the spirit of "What the hell, we're going to tear it down and throw it out anyway." If that makes me sound cynical, you've been paying attention.
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:iconsir-marble-didymus:
Sir-Marble-Didymus Featured By Owner May 9, 2014
And Eye makes you wish you could go there. :p

I've always wondered if your Head - Eye - Heart scoring system was one you adopted or developed yourself.
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:icondandrazen:
DanDrazen Featured By Owner May 10, 2014   Writer
I figured the 4- or 5-star overview rating thing has been done to death. I also wanted a way to be specific on what worked and what didn't.

To me it seemed pretty straight-forward: Head for the quality of basic storytelling; Eye for the quality of the art in a visual medium; Heart is a well-known Disney shorthand for the emotional content of a story, something that comics haven't exactly pioneered. Usually it takes something like the death of Uncle Ben in Spiderman to show up as Heart. I've gotten the impression that when it comes to the Sonic comics the less said about Heart the better. This may be a holdover from the notion that if the comics are being aimed to a pre-ado boy audience then Action trumps Heart. I simply can't bring myself to believe that in a day and age where "Frozen" did so well at the box office and "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" has pretty much shattered gender expectations.
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