Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sega, Sonic, Art and Me - Part 1

Part 1 - Grade School Sega Art

If it wasn't for Sega and Sonic the Hedgehog I wouldn't be where I am today. Sega went beyond defining the type of gamer I was, SEGA and Sonic were the catalyst for the career-path that I now find myself on. On Christmas Eve, 1991, I received a Sega Genesis bundled with Sonic the Hedgehog. Besides becoming hooked on the Sonic series as well as many other classic Sega franchises, Sonic also served as a subject for my hobby of drawing. At that time, I had been making a comic book series titled Monkey Man. The series followed a monkey who lived in a fictional world full of rolling hillsides and bizarre creatures. His friends included talking rocks, monsters and other anthropomorphic animals.

After my tenth issue, Christmas '91 had passed and I was Sonic-obsessed. I began to scribble drawings of Sonic characters in my sketchbooks alongside my own characters. As the years went by, my drawing skills improved. Both Monkey Man and Sonic had begun to evolve; Monkey Man looked much more like a monkey and Sonic looked a bit more true to official art. In 1993 the Archie Comics Sonic the Hedgehog series launched, influencing me to create my own Sonic comic book: The Sonic/Monkey Man crossover. The following year, with the release of Sonic & Knuckles, I drew Monkey Boy (Monkey Man's son) meets Knuckles.

I continued to draw Monkey Man until 2001 and, 2 years prior to the end of Monkey Man, I even drew a full Sonic the Hedgehog comic book. The story was set in the quasi-AoStH/SatAM universe that Archie Comics had established and followed Sonic as he encountered a new series of badniks known as "The Bots". They included a Ternimator-like Rotor the Walrus and a giant robo-rat named K-5mrxl aka "Mister XL".

The same year that I had written "Sonic vs. The Bots", the Dreamcast launched and I was entering my Freshman year of high school. During one of my first classes, another student had spotted me drawing Sonic and told me he loved drawing Sonic as well and that he had just bought a Dreamcast. We fast became friends and soon traded VMU files at school, chilled at each others houses playing Dreamcast and drew Sonic, Jet Set Radio and Space Channel 5 pictures together. My friend, Andy, also introduced me to other art practices including architecture (now his current career) and graphic design (now my career). I became fascinated with graphic design and after engrossing myself in design magazines and keeping an extra keen eye on designs that surrounded me, I decided to study design in college.

up next: High School and College-era SEGA art.


  1. Haha, my childhood is sprinkled with sonic comic drawings as well, I posted a topic much like this at my blog a little while ago. I love how you draw the characters in the last image: the classic Japanese style complete with giant gloves. :)

  2. Thanks man! Yeah, there was a period where I was making Sonic's hands so large that they were almost the size of his head. lol, I have a ton of NiGHTS, Jet Set Radio and Samba de Amigo art as well that I need to dig up.