Sonic FAQ File 1/3

From: Dan Drazen <>
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 1995 08:40:56 -0400 (EDT)

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              /___//_\ /___\ ascii Sonic by Han J. Lee

|====================== THE SONIC FAQ FILE =====================|

July 14, 1995 edition

Compiled by: Daniel J. Drazen
Contributors: Chris Baird; Ron Bauerle, Brad Clark, James
Firmiss, Maureen Furniss, Craig Moore, Michiyo Nakajima, Paula
O'Keefe, Eric E. Pearson, Jeff Pegnato, David Pistone, Alessandro
Sanasi, Erich Schulman, Fred Sloniker, Andy White, Shawn Wolski

Address all comments, corrections, contributions and flames to:

[Note: There WILL be spoilers. You have been warned. DJD]

#26 [Sep 1995]
"Way, Way Past Cool"
Script: A. Decesare; Pencil: D. Manak; Ink: J. D'Agostino
     Sonic, Tails, Sally, Rotor and Antoine find themselves in a the middle of summer. Of course it's a plot by
Dr. Robotnik: after lowering the temperature on Mobius, he will
use infrared heat sensors to locate the warm-blooded freedom
fighters. Sonic and the gang take shelter (such as it is) in a
cave, where they encounter a group of polar Mobians--they were
trapped down south when Robotnik took over and have lived in
hiding ever since. After initially attacking the Weather
Annihilator with a snowball-loaded catapult, the Knothole gang is
captured by Snively. The polar Mobians, however, come to their
aid and Sonic destroys the Annihilator. The polar Mobians return
north to their home, inspired to put up more of a resistance.
     This story has inspired renewed argument over species
identification since one of the polar Mobians [Erma, presumably
an ermine] looks something like Sally. However, Erma doesn't
have the white winter coat associated with a true ermine, nor is
her tail long and tipped with black, nor is her body long and
slender. But, hey, we're talking design by Manak here! Wadja
     Additional problems/flamebait: Where did the catapult come
from? If Sally decided not to wear a vest because of the summer
heat, how come she's still got her boots on? [Then again, I'm
convinced that furries are Not Clear On The Concept when it comes
to clothing]. And why is Sonic shown skittering across the
surface of a river in the story's opening when the character
guide to Sonic clearly states that Sonic is a non-swimmer and
would ordinarily avoid water?
     Fan art
Story: A. Decesare; Pencil: A. Mawhinney; Ink: R. Koslowski
     The Knothole gang (the cast of the above story PLUS Bunnie!)
are in the mountains, trying to keep ahead of Robotnik--not easy,
since Sonic has a sprained ankle. Bunnie discovers an old fort,
complete with an old muzzle-loading cannon and a blacksmith's
forge. Robotnik's "bus" crashes into the fort, only to confront
Bunnie, suited up in improvised body armour. She takes out
Robotnik's SWATbots and maneuvers the bus to crash through the
fort wall and roll back down the mountain.
     FINALLY an appearance by Bunnie! [One has to wonder whether
her (largely out-of-the-way) role in "Vol-Ant-eer" in Sonic #23
even counts as an appearance.] Mawhinney, though, seems to draw
her a little on the "squashed" side. After Spaziante's rendering
of Sally in Sonic #25, I wonder how *he'd* draw Bunnie.
     SonicGrams: In-house humor featuring Fulop, Mendez, Pepitone
and Pauley [DJD: Leave it at the water cooler, guys!]. Hint that
the upcoming StH Triple Trouble special issue will feature Tails
in a Sea Fox submarine solo story, by way of warming up for the
Happy Fun Fox miniseries in the fall. Question about why the
SWATbots carrying out Operation Wasteland in Sonic #22 went after
Robotnik and Snively [DJD: What part of "total destruction" don't
you understand?]; a fan from Canada complains about Bunnie's
seldom appearing in the comics [DJD: Hear! Hear!]; fan letter for
Tails from Cleveland. Also cover art for #27 and the Triple
Trouble special.


Q1: How did Tails come to have two tails?
Q2: Is "Tails" his real name?
Q3: Is Tails related to Sally? He calls her "Aunt Sally" quite
Q4: I can't figure out what kinds of animals some of the
characters are supposed to be.
Q5: "Sally Acorn?"
Q6: How old are the characters supposed to be?
Q7: What happened to the Princess Sally miniseries?
Q8: Does anyone have a theory about Sonic's speed?
Q9: Why didn't ABC renew Sonic for a third season?


Q1: How did Tails come to have two tails?
A: The writers of Sonic comics solicited reader responses to this
in issue #___; the replies were printed in issue #___. They
range from transplantation to mutation. The latest entry is in
the Sonicgram of #22. They state that Tails just happened to be
born that way--with no other comment (thus illustrating the
difference between an Explanation and an Answer). At this point,
there is no "official" explanation as to how Tails got that way,
so you're pretty much free to believe what you like. Personally,
I prefer the theory that it is a mutation, induced by Robotnik's
pollution of Mobius. This would accord with the fact that Tails
had not been born when Robotnik took over (cf. Q6).

Q2: Is "Tails" his real name?
A: No, his real name is "Miles Prower" (you have to say it
sorta fast to get the joke). That was his name when he was
introduced on the front screen of the Sonic 2 video game. Tails
was given as his nickname, and it stuck.

Q3: Is Tails related to Sally? He calls her "Aunt Sally" quite
A:This argument has been put forward by the "Sally is a fox" camp
(see below). However, if that were true, then he'd also be
related to Bunnie, as he's been known to address her as "Aunt
Bunnie." For that matter, it seems that everyone in the Knothole
gang refers to Sir Charles Hedgehog as "Uncle Chuck," though he's
technically only uncle to Sonic.

While it was not explicitly stated in either the comics or in the
cartoons, it has to be kept in mind that all of the freedom
fighters' families were disrupted by Robotnik's takeover of
Mobius. It's safe to assume that they all have had relatives who
have ended up being roboticized. As a result, they have become
not so much a paramilitary resistance group as a loose-knit
family. Sonic, for instance, clearly relates to Tails as if the
latter was his little brother, the difference in species

Q4: I can't figure out what kinds of animals some of the
characters are supposed to be.
A: Admittedly, it's trickier to spot some species in the series
than others. Herewith is the list:
Sonic and Sir Charles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .hedgehogs
Bunnie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . rabbit
Tails. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .fox
Rotor. . . . . . . . . . . . . .walrus (sea lion, cf. Teitelbaum)
Antoine D'Coolette . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .fox
Sally Acorn. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ground squirrel/chipmunk
Sally's father . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .fox

The identification of Sally as a ground squirrel is based on
extended discussion of the topic on Internet { and
rec.arts.animation). She was also declared to be a ground
squirrel in the comics, most recently in the Sonicgram of Sonic
#19. As for the designation "ground squirrel/chipmunk", which
has been questioned by at least one correspondent, I entered it
this way on the assumption that the two terms were synonymous. I
have consulted a dictionary, which states that the term "ground
squirrel" applies to several kinds of rodents, including the
chipmunk genus _Tamias_. Given the present ambiguity, the
designation will remain as is.

Despite this, controversy continues. Identifying Sally's species
has been particularly vexing to some fans, especially those who
reason that since Sally's father is clearly a fox, then she must
be one herself. It is possible that Sally takes after her mother
in this regard more than her father. Cross-species mating is a
definite possibility, and an example is implied in the
"flashforward" at the end of "Sally's Crusade" [Sonic: In Your
Face #1].

At this point, the identification of Sally's nanny, Rosie,
remains ambiguous. Given her buck teeth, she could be either a
beaver or a woodchuck. Since she is always shown wearing a long
cloak, I've been unable to spot the character beaver tail. Final
identification is still pending.

Q5: "Sally Acorn"?
A: This is how she was identified as far back as the beginning
of the comics [Sonic Miniseries, #0, Mar 1993]. Technically,
royalty do not have surnames or family names in the accepted
sense; rather, the title of the personage tends to serve the
purpose. Her middle name, Alicia, is apparently seldom used (cf.
"Blast to the Past," part 1). If you wanted to be grandiose
about it, Sally's formal title would be: Sally Alicia, Princess
of the House of Acorn. But in any event it's unlikely that
Sally's formal title will come back into use so long as Robotnik
is in charge.

Q6: How old are the characters supposed to be?
A: According to the TV series ["Blast to the Past: part 1"]
Sonic and Sally were both 5 years old when Sally's father was
overthrown and Robotnik took over. Two other age clues were
given in the "Drood Henge" episode: that Tails was 10 years old,
and that Sally wouldn't "come of age" for another two years.
At one point, Sally's age is explicitly given as being 16,
though the comics reportedly put both at age 15. Subtracting 5
from 16 leaves the number of years Robotnik has been in charge:
11. Thus, it would appear that Tails was born after the fall of
the House of Acorn. Still, the simplest way out of this dilemma
would be to put the age of majority on Mobius at 17 instead of
18; that would eliminate the extra year differential without
altering the stated ages of Sonic and Sally (in the comics) or of
Tails (in "Drood Henge").

Q7: What happened to the Princess Sally miniseries?
A: Archie Comics was supposed to roll out a three-part
miniseries starring Sally as the main character. The story
actually began with "Deadliest of the Species" in Sonic #20. The
cover art for the miniseries, however, differed in subsequent
advertisements: one cover for the first issue prominently
featured Geoffrey St. John, while another did not. The third
issue cover either does or doesn't feature Sally doing battle
with a clone of herself, depending upon where you see it. Two
different versions of the cover for #2 appeared in Sonic #22.
The fact that the Sally creative team PLUS Archie Comics PLUS
Sega reportedly came together to discuss "improving" the series
(as reported in the Sonicgram for Sonic #21) would seem to
indicate that someone had come down with a case of "creative
differences." In any event, the "improved" Sally miniseries began
shipping the week of Feb 13.

Q8: Does anyone have a theory about Sonic's speed?
A: How, in other words, is Sonic able to run so fast? Apparently
the same way you get to Carnegie Hall in the old joke: practice.
I'm serious; here is the only print explanation I've come across
so far: "Years ago, when things were right on Mobius, there lived
a hedgehog named Sonic.... Sonic was only interested in running
as fast as he could. Every day he practiced." [Michael
Teitelbaum, _Sonic the Hedgehog_. Mahwah, NJ: Troll, 1993, pp.7-
8]. And that's the extent of Teitelbaum's explanation. Thanks a
heap, Mike! Chris Baird may be onto something, and it looks like
he wants to force the issue by asking Archie Comics about "The
rumor going around the Internet that [Sonic] got his speed from
falling into a vat of power rings when he was a baby."

Q9: Why didn't ABC renew Sonic for a third season?
A: There are now three answers to this question -- one appears to
be definitive, but the other two are more fun. Believe what you
1) ABC got clobbered in the SatAM ratings because the show was up
against the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers on Fox. This sounds
plausible, except that between the November and February sweeps,
ABC actually moved StH to the 8:00 am Eastern slot, which would
have put it opposite "Dog City" on least, until the next
time Fox jazzed with ITS lineup. I remember posting a TAPE ALERT
and that several fans didn't get to tape the first showing of the
Doomsday episode as a result of the time switch. Source for this
item: someone from within the offices of Archie Comics, as posted
2) DiC allegedly screwed the pooch by releasing StH animation
cels onto the market without clearing it with Sega. Upon
learning of this, Sega took umbrage that its property was being
sold without its consent or agreement to a cut of the action (can
you say "anal retentive"?). Words were exchanged and the show
was effectively cancelled.
3) ABC's kidvid programming has lately been adhering to a policy
of "two seasons and out" for shows. Though it's possible that
some ideas only last two seasons because they're kinda bankrupt
to begin with.

Received on Fri Jul 14 1995 - 09:15:51 PDT

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