War Rocket Ajax #124: Ian Flynn Talks ‘Mega Man,’ ‘Sonic’ And Fandom
This week, ComicsAlliance’s War Rocket Ajax podcast is pleased to welcome Ian Flynn to the show! He’s the writer behind Archie’s incredible Mega Man series, the digital first New Crusaders story and, for the past seven years, Sonic the Hedgehog. He talks to us all about his work, and the more extreme fans of those franchises. It’s a weird one — and you can listen to the whole show, right here at ComicsAlliance!War Rocket Ajax #124: Bring On All Challengers with Ian Flynn
(WARNING: Contains NSFW language)
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In this week’s show, Chris and Matt have a little trouble getting their heads in the game, but manage to pull through with only a minimum of Bane voice. Chris is about to turn 30 and is growing increasingly paranoid about mortality, and that’s pretty much how the show starts. Plus, a listener question brings back a story of customer horror from Chris’s days at the comic book shop!
Even though we walk away from it a little shell-shocked, our interview with Ian is great. He tells us all about his experience with Mega Man as a game:
I’ve always appreciated the series from a distance. I’ve always known that it’s a great series, I love the art style. Who doesn’t love Capcom art, really? But I suck at the games. You know how in Mega Man 10, the DLC game, where they introduced that really hand-holdy version where there’s no robots and the pits are covered and the spikes are covered and Wily does after three hits? I can almost make it through those games. Almost.
I’m really, really bad at the games, so I had to appreciate it from the sidelines rather than getting my hands deep into actually playing. So when it came time to write the series, I already knew kind of where I was going, it wasn’t completely blind. I knew that I needed to go in deeper, so that’s when I started reading all the fan wikis, I started looking up all the various speed runs on YouTube and other peoples’ Let’s Play sessions. I found out real quick that speed runs aren’t the best resarch, because people know the glitches and which weapons to use first, so they run up to a Robot Master, whip out the correct weapon, and blow it up in two seconds. I’m like “what was the boss fight like? What did I learn from that?” So I had to watch people who were as bad as I am playing so I’d know what was going on.
I’ve really engrossed myself in Mega Man.
Later, he tells us a little about the intense fans of Sonic the Hedgehog:
To be fair, there are “those types of fans,” but they’re in every fandom. The Sonic fans, the ones that I interact with the most, are really fun people. They’re extremely generous, they have great imaginations, and holy crap, the passion that they have for this book rivals any other DC or Marvel thing. They are devoted to it, and it really is a solid, fun, family-friendly action adventure book. You can’t really let yourself be spoiled because there are some mouth-breathing, cellar-dwelling troglodytes out there that also read the book.
Also, we really, really hate those disappearing blocks.
If it’s not clear from the interview, we’re big fans of Mega Man.
If you must know more about the darker side of Sonic fandom — and the reason Chris is a little wary — this is a good place to start (probably not safe for work/sanity). “The size of an average human mother.”
Chris’s Rec: Limbo and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD, both on XBox Live Arcade:
Matt’s Rec: Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange.
Daredevil #16: “The second half of this issue plays out a big relationship moment between Matt and Foggy, and I’ve seen some writers approach the doorway of this before, but I’ve never actually seen them walk all the way through like Waid is doing here… I don’t even know how Marvel has pulled off putting such awesome artists on this comic, but from issue one, this comic has had pretty much nothing but awesome artists. It’s going to continue in the next issue, because Mike Allred’s going to be drawing this book!”
Defenders #9: “At this point, Defenders is kind of hard to explain in terms of plot. It involves King Solomon’s Frogs, and if you know what that means, you’ve pretty much got it. If you don’t know what that means, you won’t get it at all, even if I explain it to you, but in this issue, the Defenders have been taken to an alternate ’60s… It’s so big and weird and crazy and fun. It makes a great contrast to Hawkeye, where the mission statement is to do Normal Guy Avenger. All the crazy stuff that’s not in Hawkeye has been added to the crazy that’s in Defenders.”
Tales Designed To Thrizzle #8: “I don’t want to give away any of the punchlines, but I’ll say this much: There’s a part where two trains mate.”