I don't know if this is a rough time to be a Sonic fan, but I've been having a rough time being a Sonic fan lately. It's been a steadily growing pile of frustrations.
For starters, I'm still a little sore over the comic rebooting. I'm also not thrilled with the games lately, as they've focused mainly on mobile apps and Sonic Boom for the last year or two, and before that the last big Sonic game was the playable but disappointing Sonic Lost World. On top of that, Archie Comics cashed my renewal check for Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Universe last Spring, but I've only gotten three issues since then. I e-mailed them twice about this and never got a response.
On Saturday, January 30, I checked to see if Dan Drazen had posted any new reviews, only to find out that at the beginning of January he potsed his last review. He was giving up on the comic (again) after having basically the same subscription problem I had. Not only is one of my favorite reviewers bowing out, but this tells me my subscription issue was not a one-time fluke. I went to BumbleKing to see if anyone there had anything to say about Drazen, only to discover that the forum was shutting down. There were threads set up for everyone to say their goodbyes and to say where they could be reached. It officially locked at midnight the morning of Feb. 7.
Well then. With that, I was just about ready to bow out of Sonic fandom entirely. I certainly had no more intention of reading the comic, now that my main—and basically only—place to discuss it was disappearing, if it meant throwing money at the hopelessly incompetent Archie Comics.
But then I started trying to catch up with my fellow BK members by looking up their Tumblr and DeviantArt accounts. And I saw things. Wonderful things. Essays. Blog posts. Discussions. Debates. Fan art. People being passionate about Sonic, and not just the comics but the games and everything. As if that weren't enough, people from BumbleKing dropped by my deviantArt. I got some lovely comments and a favorite.
So now I'm a bit conflicted. On the one hand, I am definitely not going to drop out of Sonic fandom now that my own love of Sonic has been reinvigorated. On the other hand, I'm still steamed at Archie. There's no way I'm renewing my subscription now, and I don't want to pay double the price for the privilege of having to drive to the store to get my comics, especially since my purchases would still underwrite Archie's ineptitude.
So what do I do? Lent to the rescue!
The main idea behind the traditional practice of giving something up for Lent is penitential—that is, an offering in reparation for sin—but an important secondary effect is that it helps us reduce attachments to things (particularly, the thing given up) and focus on what's really important. It can also help us to see the thing given up with fresh eyes: Once we're used to doing without it, we can decide how badly we really needed it.
That is exactly what my relationship with the Sonic franchise needs right now. So in addition to my usual penance, I'm also going to be giving up all things Sonic. With any luck, when Easter gets here I'll be in better shape to decide what I want to do about the comic.
I'll try to report back here once I've made a decision.