|This interview is done by Vector, our regular interview guy. You can contact Vector via Mobius Forum of Sonic HQ. Vector this time brings us a very good interview with long time Sonic fan and all around great artist Dawn Marie Best, AKA Ruby Echidna. Ruby's one of the first Sonic artists on the net. Recently, she started off a fan comic called Sonic Ideal. Click here to visit Sonic Ideal's homepage. Now there's some bad news, she's leaving the Sonic Fandom! Why? Read on and find out.
Sonic HQ: Thanks for coming to this interview with Sonic HQ.
Sonic HQ: When I invited you to to do this interview, you said that you might not be in the Sonic-Net much longer. Could you explain?
Ruby Echidna: Yes. The fandom hasn't been what it used to be for me, so I'm leaving it. Ruby's Realm, my main site is down. The studio might not be around much longer either...
Sonic HQ: Do you think you might come back to the fandom in the future?
Ruby Echidna: I may.. I will stay in it in the roleplay world, such as MUCKing and the occasional chat. As far as posting on webpages, newsgroups, mailing lists, and creating new Sonic-themed things go, however, I'm afraid I'm dropping out.
Sonic HQ: This is the end for Sonic Ideal?
Ruby Echidna: Nope. David Bulmer, my co-creator of the series, is taking over that.
Sonic HQ: Who will do the art?
Ruby Echidna: Well, Dave's friend, Abigail, who is a terrific artist, will be featured in some of the issues. Of course, if anyone thinks they might want to lend a hand, I'm sure he'd be glad to get extra help!
Sonic HQ: Where can readers find the comic, since it won't be on your site?
Ruby Echidna: Ah, we're working on that. I might just leave the Sonic Ideal part of the Studio up and let Dave take it over.
Sonic HQ: What were your goals when you were creating Sonic Ideal?
Ruby Echidna: Well, I had seen how many people were disappointed with Archie's Sonic comics lately (me included). I decided to do something about it by capturing the essence of what really turned the audience on in those books. This included things like the Mecha Madness Special, the Knuckles series, and various Saturday morning-ish issues.
Sonic HQ: How did you decide on the characterizations?
Ruby Echidna:Ah, well the SatAM show was a big influence on Sonic and Sally. Tails was more like the anime version. The Chaotix were based mainly from the game manual information that I expanded on. Some things, like Espio's chlostrophobia, had to be dug up from a Japanese site.
Sonic HQ: Will Bash Bat still be available online?
Ruby Echidna: I think so. I haven't had time to update it as much as I want to "The Green" will be posted soon I hope.
Sonic HQ: What were your goals in crafting Bash Bat's story?
Ruby Echidna: Ah, that was just incorporating things I found interesting into a world that was totally mine.
Sonic HQ: How did you create the characters? Did you create any character for certain goals, such as advancing the story in a particular way, expressing a viewpoint through their actions, or using them as a metaphor for something?
Ruby Echidna: Bas represents not only the hero character, but also a drastic change in personality. At first he's more leap before you look, then as the series goes on, he becomes as goos a leader as Zing was. Celene is one of my favorite characters since she's so mysterious. Her past is quite vague, but really gets some substance later on.
Sonic HQ: Were any of them based on real people? ;-)
Ruby Echidna: Ah yes. Jaide has alot of myself in her. She's quiet and usually gives up more than she should. Her story doesn't have a happy ending.
Sonic HQ: Is there anything else you'd like to say about Bash in this interview?
Ruby Echidna: Not really. I just hope that I can get the series where I want to while keeping the audience.
Sonic HQ: In your opinion, how important is it for a spinoff such as Archie's to remain accurate to the original SEGA Sonic, or any other established story?
Ruby Echidna: Hmmm... if they want to be taken seriously it's very important that they stick with established characters. To spin off such things as an Image crossover, or to incorporate nepotism as part of your main continuity is a move that some people will look at and think of it as nothing more than a freelance project.
Sonic HQ: How do you feel about the Sonic Anime, Fleetway's Sonic the Comic, SatAM, and AoSTH?
Ruby Echidna: The Sonic Anime is excellent. I got into the Sonic-fandom through the games, and I really wish there was more SegaSonic influence over here. The Fleetway comic is also very cool. I've only seen a few issues, but what I saw I was very impressed with. SatAM was good, but was never given the chance to strut its stuff. AoStH was weak. Unfortunately, it was SoA's favorite version. That says alot about Sega's idea of cool.
Sonic HQ: You said earlier that you had been disappointed in the recent Archie comics. What do you think was the turning point where they went downhill? How do you feel about Archie's Sonic before that point? What did you like, and what did you dislike?
Ruby Echidna: Ah, the turning point for me was Endgame... right before I left I understand they were throwing a Prince Elias at us... What the HECK was that? We already have Sally.. she doesn't need some other Archie char stealing her position and issue time.. It's been like that since Endgame.. Bunch of things that would make the worst fanfic writer say, "Oh lordy I can't believe they're pulling this junk!" I really liked anything before that. I saw the comics as having a steady continuity. Things like The issue #25, Mecha Madness, and the Knuckles Quest were all quite interesting.
Sonic HQ: What is your opinion of the Knuckles series?
Ruby Echidna: Hmm.. to tell you the truth... I liked the character before the continuing series. I will admit that the current issues are very well written, but the character needs some work. I enjoyed Knuckles' personna in the Mecha Madness issue. He was a rebel; someone who could take care of himself. Now he has parents, more enemies, and even a girlfriend to worry about.
Sonic HQ: How did you first become a Sonic fan?
Ruby Echidna: The games. When I saw the commercial for the first Sonic game, I was quite intrigued. When I got the Genesis and the Sonic games, I was hooked.
Sonic HQ: You're a great artist, any comments to people out there on how to draw better?
Ruby Echidna: Of course.. If you're really serious about your art, you should practice every day. Once it becomes a joy rather than a task, you'll know you have something. Also, don't be afraid to experiment with different styles, especially realism.
Sonic HQ: Any comments to people about writing?
Ruby Echidna: Ah, that's pretty much all the same idea.. Write often, especially when you get an idea. Experiment with it. If you want your own series, develop the basic outline for it, then add details like characters and such later.
Sonic HQ: Is there any message you'd like to leave for the Sonic fans on the internet?
Ruby Echidna: Well, just that I've had a blast working and corresponding with the people I have met in the fandom and I wish them all well.
Sonic HQ: Well, I guess this concludes our interview. Thanks!
Ruby Echidna: Sure thing! Thanks for having me! :)