February 15, 2020

 

                                


Commentary for February 15, 2020:

You know, if Iíd planned things better, I couldíve made sure this was the page that went up yesterday. It wouldíve been the perfect page for Valentineís Day. Oh well, maybe next year! (I have literally no idea if it will be new Vol. 1 or new Vol. 2 going up then, mind you.)

Anyway, heck! Itís Mina Mongoose!

Fun story. When I first tried reading Archieís Sonic the Hedgehog from issue 91 back in 2001, Mina Mongoose had not long been introduced, and I did not like her. I was very much in camp Sonally (Sonic and Sally) back then, mostly because Iíd been fond of the SatAM cartoon and made the rookie mistake of thinking the comics and the cartoon were essentially the same world (they werenít). Since Sonic and Sally had been basically boyfriend and girlfriend in that, I expected them to be that way in the comics, too. What I didnít know at the time was that Sonic and Sally had never actually gone steady with each other in the comics. Yes, there was romantic tension and the strong implication that they were destined for each other, but it wasnít until issue 124 (after I'd given up reading the series for the time being) that that they actually said ďI love youĒ to each other... and ten issues later, Sally broke up with Sonic and they didnít get back together for a long time after that (just in time for Sally to be roboticized, actually).

Nineteen years later, I have much more affection for Mina. Itís true, she was created to be a rival to Sally as Sonicís love interest, and evidently she was supposed to die in issue 124, but a last minute decision was made to spare her. Personally, Iím thankful for that, because I think it would have been simply horrible for her to only exist to have her heart broken and then die. And after that story, she was able to move on and become a rock star, who inspired the good guys with her music.

And thatís essentially how Iíve re-imagined Mina Mongoose for Eonís World. Sheís a rock star who got started with her band singing songs to inspire the Freedom Fighters during Eggmanís occupation of the Westside Archipelago, which is why theyíre performing in front of the Freedom Fighter insignia (which you may recognise as the Resistance symbol from Sonic Forces). I do not plan to have any romantic tensions between her and Sonic and I donít think she has super speed in Eonís World, like she did in Archie Sonic (literally just so could have more in common with Sonic).

Oh yes, if you ever watched Sonic Underground, you may recognise the lyrics that Mina is singing. Sonic Underground was not the best show, but it had its charm and some of those songs were so catchy I can remember them even now and I havenít watched that show in at least twelve years. So, Mina Mongoose and the Forget-Me-Knots will most likely always be depicted singing songs from Sonic Underground. Also, I did think of having the Forget-Me-Knots be the same rabbit, monkey, and chicken that formed the rest of the band with Mina in Archie Sonic (ostensibly from early concept art for the original Sonic game), but I decided I wanted to craft some OC's for it. Some of them may even go on to do other things in later stories.

Wow, thatís a lot of talk about the first freakiní panel... then again, Eon and Silky do go on to talk about Mina for the rest of the page, so I guess itís fair. But what I really wanted to do with this page, aside from establishing Mina as a character who exists in Eonís World, was to have a conversation about sexuality and open relationships. Silky has always been canonically bisexual, but it has never been said anywhere in the actual pages of Eonís World. Some might object that it doesnít need to be said if itís not relevant to the plot, but I take issue with that. If you donít say or show that a character is some flavour of queer, it will generally be assumed that theyíre not. So while it may seem a little ham-handed to have Silky just drop into the conversation that she is bisexual, itís actually important for queer representation in fiction.

Moreover, I very much wanted to include the words ďgayĒ, ďbisexualĒ, and ďpolyamoryĒ in the actual text. Because even in fiction that has characters to whom any of these words apply, often they go unspoken. I love Steven Universe, for instance; it is easily the finest cartoon I have ever watched. But even though it features characters who are gay, bisexual, or non-binary, those words are never spoken in the show. As I have set out to make Eonís World gayer, having Eon and Silky talking and using those words was vital to me. Expect more of this in both Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.

Oh yeah, this is probably the only time youíll really see Big the Cat (in the background of panel 2). Itís not that I donít like him, itís just... Okay, I donít really like him that much; even Ian Flynnís masterful writing never really brought me round to the guy, like it did for Shadow and Silver. But even so, I just donít have a use for him in Eonís World. I figure after Sonic Adventure, he went back to his hut in the Mystic Ruins with Froggy and carried on living a peaceful life of fishing. But I wanted some recognisable characters in the background of that shot, so I included him and Amy and also  an OC of mine who will become very important... a few years from now.

Credits: Big the Cat sprites by CylentNight.


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