2325: Sonichu — Issue 0 Episodes 1 and 2Posted: May 7, 2019 | |
Author: Christine Weston Chandler, aka. Christopher Weston Chandler, aka. Christian Weston Chandler, aka. Chris-Chan
Topic: Sonic The Hedgehog / Pokemon / IRL
Genre: “Parody”, apparently.
URL: Cover and Issue 0 Template Box
Critiqued by AdmiralSakai
— WARNING —
Strap yourselves in, folks, this is gonna be a long one.
First thing’s first, the webcomic under review today is arguably the most famous and actively talked-about fanwork that LOTD has ever riffed. This means we might be getting an influx of new readers and commenters from different corners of the Internet who aren’t familiar with the way the Library does things. I’d like to extend a warm welcome to anyone who wants to come here and talk about the insanity that is Sonichu, but at the same time if people show up to spam us or try and start fights I have no qualms about swinging the banhammer a lot more quickly than I would if an argument broke out between people who are long-time members of our community. Or it’s entirely possible nobody will show up and nothing will happen, I don’t know.
Second, the author of this comic was originally named Christopher Weston Chandler and has since begun referring to herself as Christine and insisting on specific pronouns. I happen to think that pronouns are completely inconsequential either way and have a strict ‘smile and nod’ policy towards people who do care about them so I am using the same set the author uses on the byline of a given issue of the comic, which most of the time will be “Christian”. Other sources I quote might use different names and terminology and I wouldn’t really say that any one is ‘better’ than any other. I am not trying to condone or refute any particular ideology one way or the other, and in fact I wouldn’t bring it up at all; but there’s been a constant low-grade brouhaha over it on sites that follow the author for a while now, I had to decide on something because of the way English works, and I want to make it clear that doing so should not be construed as taking sides in a debate I in fact consider utterly irrelevant. I suppose you can debate it in the comments, but for the love of God, Jesus, and the animatronic bear keep it civil.
Finally, Christine is also orbited by a large group of people generally described as internet trolls who themselves inspire an insane amount of controversy by pranking and otherwise interacting with her. “Trolling” can mean a lot of somewhat different things in different parts of the Internet at different times and not all of the trolls have interacted with Chris-Chan in the same way; the actions of some are more defensible than others. I’d generally consider the primary source I’m consulting, the CWCki (yes there is a wiki, we’ll get to it soon enough) to be of decent character and not a group that condones violence or abuse. Again, this is something people are free to discuss in the comments as long as it stays civil, although I probably won’t be participating much myself because I don’t think it’d be appropriate to do so in a situation where I might also have to exercise moderator powers.
So, with that out of the way…
Yes, I am riffing goddamn SONICHU.
I wanted to do some kind of big theatrical lore-based opening for this like I did with the creepypasta riffs or Serketry’s doing with his riffs, but nothing I can say could possibly prepare me or my audience for this.
This is gonna be a tough one, not because the comic is particularly long or in any way hard to make fun of, but because the thing is… the best way I can describe it is a sort of referential cipher that is so intimately wired into the personal life of its author that without context very little of it will make any goddamn sense, like an alchemical tome if alchemical tomes were colored in with Crayola markers and lettered in all-caps Comic Sans.
Sonichu itself barely even scratches the surface of Chris-Chan’s antics (Chris-Chantics??); as I mentioned previously there is in fact an entire god damn wiki dedicated to chronicling her various exploits in exhaustive, snarky detail. I’ve spent entire days browsing it, and it’s been incredibly helpful in assembling this riff (not in the least because Chris-Chan has a tendency to delete things she finds embarrassing or inconvenient and thus Sonichu doesn’t so much have continuity as it has a sort of loosely-bound-together narrative foam). Also helpful have been the transcriptions of the comic performed by Salt Water Taffy’s Annotated Sonichu, which I’d also suggest giving a read although it is more aimed towards people who have already been read into the wider Christorical mythos.
This means that read on its own without the videologs and Facebook posts and Christine’s very own wiki pages (yes she made her own wiki for this thing, completely separate from the CWCki), Sonichu doesn’t make much sense. This is arguably true with context as well, but without it the thing basically has no cohesion whatsoever. Nonetheless, I’ll be keeping contextual links and outside information to a minimum throughout this riff and linking to the CWCki only as absolutely necessary. This is partially because if I attempted to explain every element of the CWCian Mythos myself each riff would be a million words long (I mean, we aren’t even out of the disclaimers yet!), but also because Christine seriously intends for this comic to someday be syndicated, published, and read by children the world over; it is expected to stand alone as a self-contained work and that, for the most part, is how I’m going to riff it.
So let’s begin.
If I came across this on a rack in my local comic-book store (which is an hour away from campus by bus since University Circle just had to make room for three different Chipotles, but that’s neither here nor there), a few things would jump out to me.
The first is that the resolution is terrible. This seems to be the only ‘primary’ image of the Issue Zero cover to be provided by Chris (all larger ones I’ve found are blown-up copies of this one), and it’s a 640-pixel-tall JPEG. This makes comparatively fine details like the signature on the bottom left kind of difficult to read. The title is also kind of difficult to read, but I don’t think additional resolution would have helped in that department because the second thing you immediately notice is that the entire comic is drawn in ballpoint pen and colored with Crayola markers. Get used to this.
It’s also worth noting that the cover is plastered with copyright notices, despite the somewhat obvious fact that Sonichu is a Sonic the Hedgehog / Pokemon crossover fanwork. In a weird variant of the oft-seen fanthorial belief that posting an “I don’t own this” disclaimer will ward off the cease-and-desist letters, Chris thinks that describing his comic as a ‘parody’ makes it entirely his own intellectual property and gives him exclusive control over it. The copyright also includes a wholly incorrect “2000 – ????” datestamp (Sonichu 0 was officially ‘published’ (i.e. released on Chris-Chan’s personal website) in 2004, but some of the material included in it is far older), but I am more confused by the author’s name being given as
“Christopher” Christian Weston Chandler
Now, before all this ‘Christine’ business started, Chris-Chan was given the name ‘Christopher’ at birth, and later had his name legally changed to ‘Christian’ due to shenanigans with an animatronic bear that are too convoluted to get into here. Using his original name in quotation marks as a nickname is thus completely backwards, although then again the nickname typically follows the official name so I don’t know what‘s going on here.
As a computer scientist starting the comic with “Issue 0” instead of “Issue 1” really doesn’t bother me, especially since this is supposed to be the origin story of the titular Sonichu, although that’s not how comics are typically numbered.
Let’s take a look at said Sonichu, by the way, as he dashes through this vaguely hilly, featureless grass-scape on what appears to be a giant silver boomerang. Those splodges are supposed to be shadows, but since they’re lightly scribbled over in pen (why? It’s not like Chris didn’t have a black marker) they look brighter than their surroundings. While I was writing this description I thought that this was supposed to be Sonichu’s shadow stretching out in a trail behind him to show his Sonic-derived superspeed (because that’s totally how that works); now that I’ve actually gotten to it I’ve decided the extended bit is intended to represent the shadow of Sonichu’s tail. Even though it’s way longer than the tail itself while all of the other shadows are contained pretty much under the objects that cast them.
I find myself with surprisingly little to say about Sonichu’s actual design, because once you get over the initial WTF factor of there being a cross between Sonic the Hedgehog and a Pikachu he looks about like I expected such a thing would. His arms and legs appear to be thin, homogeneously-flexible tubes because anatomy is another thing that basically doesn’t exist in this comic, but I don’t know what else I was expecting from an artist who won’t even draw clouds in the sky. Or maybe those lighter spots are supposed to be clouds, I don’t even fucking know anymore.
Who is this mysterious, suction-cup-footed fellow in far too loud a shirt who commands Sonichu to “go out and zap to the extreme, brah”? Why is Sonichu referring to him as ‘Father’? What’s that deformed cheeseburger he’s holding, or the vaguely Sonichu-head-shaped doodad around his neck? We shall see.
Boy shall we ever see.
And then we get another anti-disclaimer (a ‘claimer’?), this one establishing that Sonichu is copyrighted between March 2000 and March 2005. A period between the “by” and Chris’s name has appeared twice now, even though the rest of the thing has different wording and so is unlikely to be just copy-pasted. What’s up with that?
I’d like to think that the angry-looking disembodied Sonichu head with a tail in place of a spinal cord is some kind of summoned intellectual-property monster that flies towards you and explodes in your face releasing hundreds of tiny cease-and-desist notices if you use Chris’s IP, like a highly litigious subspecies of the Lost Souls from Doom.
After that there’s a bizarrely mangled version of the standard “any resemblance to real people is unintentional” disclaimer, with a special exception carved out for Chris-Chan himself. Remember this towards the end of the issue.
Chris also seems to be implying with that last sentence that coincidences are a subset of deliberate parody. That would imply some rather terrifying things about his understanding of probability, if I wasn’t much more convinced he didn’t know what ‘coincidence’ and/or ‘parody’ meant and was just trying to sound official.
The lines making up the blue border here don’t intersect properly, despite even Microsoft fucking Paint having a perfectly usable ‘square’ tool in it.
TITLE: Episode 1: Sonichu’s Origin
Although thanks to the once again nigh-unreadable ‘electrical’ font it looks more like “SOMKKLU’s ORAGAM”.
And I see we’re starting Issue Zero with Episode One. Because that‘s not confusing at all. What kind of comic even has ‘episodes’ anyway? It’s already published serially in issues.
NARRATION: Our story begins
♫But who’s gonna win? Knowing the crazy that lies within!♫
in an open field 5 mies from the city of Station Square,
Typo Cunter: 1
which is under siege by the Perfect Chaos monster.
This thing, I guess.
Although a ‘siege’ typically involves encircling a target to prevent the defenders from retreating or getting supplies from the surroundings, and I’m not really sure how a single Godzilla-like monster would actually do that.
While Sonic the Hedgehog ponders over the destruction,
Instead of, you know, actually doing anything to save people.
a wild boy Pikachu takes notice of the far-off destruction.
Does anyone else think it’s odd that Chris decided to specifically mention the Pikachu’s sex in its very first introduction? Maybe it only stands out to me because of what the comic later develops into.
Unless by ‘wild boy Pikachu’ Chris means the thing has a leather jacket and a motorcycle hidden just off-panel.
CHRISTIAN WESTON CHANDLER: I am Christian Weston Chandler, Sonichu’s creator, and author of this comic, this is his sotry and nothing less.
Ummm…. thanks for the update?
Typo Cunter: 2
And yes, he did indeed wear that shirt IRL:
The physical structure of Chris’s speech bubble is curious. It has a protruding section clearly meant to accommodate the end of ‘less’, but there’s also all this white space up at the top. Why didn’t Chris just put the text there?
WILD BOY PIKACHU: Pika?
When the Pikachu turns around it looks like its face just kind of slides along its head without the head itself actually moving.
I am not 100% certain what purpose the narration actually serves here since I figure we’d be able to infer the sequence of events perfectly well from the images. Maybe in its place there could be another panel with Sonic actually putting in the effort to fight Perfect Chaos like he does in Sonic Adventure instead of the implied fiddling while Station Square burns. In fact, having this portion of the comic be predominately or completely pictorial would do a lot to communicate that it is occurring from the perspective of the non-verbal Pikachu.
Although Station Square itself isn’t looking too good at the moment. I cannot decide if the tall gray mushroom thing over Chaos’s shoulder is supposed to be the ruins of a Space-Needle-like building or a cloud of smoke, but more concerning is the round orange fireball the town is seemingly enveloped in. Is that the setting sun, or is Station Square getting nuked?
LEGAL INFORMATION: All Sonichu material is copyrighted, March 2000-2005 by. Christian Weston Chandler.
WE KNOW ALREADY!!
There’s also a black border drawn around the edge of the page for some reason. Is this supposed to represent that we are looking at another printed document within the confines of the comic?
Oh, goodie, an action sequence! I… think?
So we have Sonic powering up with the Chaos Emeralds to fight Perfect Chaos who is suffering from his own nasty case of noodle-arms, while the wild-boy Pikachu from earlier runs onto a… conveyor belt(???) that takes it to the ruins of Station Square at exactly the same time.
If I didn’t already know this is what happened at the end of Sonic Adventure I’m pretty sure I’d have zero idea what was going on, especially since Super Sonic and Sonichu as introduced on the cover look extremely similar and are often not drawn with sufficient detail to tell them apart. I suppose this is better than belaboring canonical events in a fancomic, but that’s what you get for trying to market a fanwork as ‘original’. I guess the panels are supposed to be read left-to-right and then top-to-bottom, but some of the panels overlap along the vertical axis so the whole thing is just a confusing muddle.
What are those red things in the background? Massive fires? Or did the residents of Station Square just randomly decide to paint some of their featureless, monolithic buildings bright red?
I’ve noticed that these images all have somewhat different resolutions- this one, for instance, is 512 x 698 px, the previous page was 512 x 697, and the cover was 492 x 640. How do you even do that while scanning in images? Did Chris try to make them all different sizes?
Originally I thought that the top half of this image depicted Perfect Chaos preparing to swallow the Pikachu or possibly charging up some kind of mouth laser to fire at it, and then Sonic dives in to intercept the blast, but now I think it was just Sonic spin-dashing inside Perfect Chaos and then exploding out of the monster’s head (which I’m sure is a fetish somewhere). Either way, Sonic and the Pikachu collide and appear to share a sparkly kawaii yaoi kiss.
The bottom half of the page is supposed to depict a rainbow (which goes from red, to orange, to yellow, to blue, to green, to purple and then a lighter shade of purple) emanating from the Sonic-Caressed Pikachu (possibly because SCP was overcome with homoerotic thoughts following the aforementioned sparkly kawaii yaoi kiss) and striking a ‘GIRL RAICHU’ (how nice of Chris to once again specify!) in front of a cabin and what appears to be a vertical wall of water fifteen
miesMILES away; however the grouping of the rainbow-emission panel with the others, the complete lack of any identifying features on the Pokemon in it, and the GIRL RAICHU’s baffled and put-out expression make it seem like it just got hit by a random rainbow twice, or possibly that SCP got teleported in the rainbow fifteen miles away and turned into a GIRL RAICHU and then after a few seconds was teleported back.
Much, much hay has been made of the fact that this is supposed to be a female raichu when in the modern Pokemon games females have a blunter tail than males. However, Pokemon dimorphism wasn’t introduced in the games until well after this comic was written and I don’t know how you’d identify a blunt or sharp tail anyway given Chris’s generally blobby drawing style, so I never really saw the point in meming it other than that Chris himself used to pitch fits if the topic was brought up.
Why does the Raichu transform standing up, but Sonichu gets knocked down?
CAPTION: At the cottage…
GIRL WITH A HEAD LIKE A TURKEY LEG: Raichu, I saw the…
GIRL WITH A HEAD LIKE A TURKEY LEG: Gasp!
GIRL WITH A HEAD LIKE A TURKEY LEG: Who are you? Where’s my Pokemon?
GIRL RAICHU: Kel…
KEL, APPARENTLY: Gasp!
GIRL RAICHU: I am your Pokemon.
I can only imagine GIRL RAICHU saying that in the most cartooonishly evil serial-killer voice possible before advancing on ‘Kel’ with her claws outstretched.
GIRL RAICHU: I was hit by a rainbow, and now..
GIRL RAICHU: I have transformed!
KEL: Oh, my! You’re as beautiful as a rose!
GIRL RAICHU: As a rose? I need a new name, since I’m a new Pokemon, so, you can call me…
It’s supremely difficult to see, but the word ‘ROSECHU’ is in fact written inside that flower, which is itself called a ‘Zapbud’. Which comes from the ‘Beautiful as a rose’ comment and certainly not from looking exactly like the pre-existing Sonic character Amy Rose, so she’s 100% ORIGINAL CHARACTER DONUT STEEL!!!! However, it looks like her name is Zapbud, and so from now on Zapbud shall she be!
That’s a much better name than ‘Rosechu’ anyway.
Although would it fucking kill Chris to use a goddamn ruler when making the panel lines at least? Or would that not be “hand-drawn original”?
WILD BOY PIKACHU: Oh…
WILD BOY PIKACHU: Wha… Gasp!
WILD BOY PIKACHU: I’ve changed!
Yeah yeah yeah, we’ve all had nights like that.
I love how Perfect Chaos is just kind of ineffectually waving its noodle-arms as Sonic spins around out of range.
WILD BOY PIKACHU: Huh?!
WILD BOY PIKACHU: The battle is on?!
And Timmy fell down the well? And I need to provide exposition?!
WILD BOY PIKACHU: I’ve got to help!
WILD BOY PIKACHU: Time to zap!
To the extreme, perhaps?
And then Sonichu runs across a giant American flag (either that or one of the buildings suddenly developed windows and I was right about them being randomly painted red) and gets ready to use…
You know, this is probably the best art I’ve seen so far in Sonichu for the simple reason that aside from the comic’s universally blobular art style there aren’t any clear, obvious, horrible defects in it. I’m not sure what about this scene in particular merited an entire page being dedicated to it, but I should probably just count myself lucky Chris didn’t try to cram it into a sixteenth of the page or overlap five other panels overtop of it or something.
So Super Sonic and Sonichu fly past each other and Perfect Chaos I guess turns into a giant blue-and-yellow head of broccoli, and a series of white Game of Life pegs which are for some reason arranged according to height chant Sonic’s name.
SONICHU: Wow! What a battle!
SONICHU: Not only that, but I’ve received super speed, a new body, and above all else, I am able to talk like a human! Wow!
Believe me, we are well aware of your newfound verbal skills.
SONICHU: And, apparently, I look like that hedgehog I’ve helped earlier.
How does he know that? Has he even had a chance to look at himself so far?
From the cheers, I guess his name was Sonic, Sonic the Hedgehog…
Sonic had just about the same abilities as I do now.
Umm…. no, he didn’t? Sonichu was not seen to Spin Dash or use any other Sonic moves other than running really fast, and Super Sonic has no electrical abilities to speak of.
And I guess I am now a hedgehog now too. I am a new Pokemon. I am no longer a Pikachu, so with inspiration,
“Inspiration”, of course, being a typo of ‘crass unoriginality’.
I am now…
CHRISTIAN WESTON CHANDLER: And from then on, Sonichu went on to make new friends, as well as enemies. And he will use his abilities to stop evil, and to save the world.
SUDDENLY TENSE SHIFT.
Stay tuned for more zappin’ adventures of Sonichu!
Nice pompadour, by the way, Chris.
CHRISTIAN WESTON CHANDLER: As the creator of Sonichu and his world, I feel that I should take you on a trip to learn more. Besides, I promised my other hedgehogs as well. So let’s tour my section of the cartoon world…
“My rich, CHUNKY cartoon world… and my giant neck. And weirdly pentagonal head.”
The comic title is “Sonichu,” by that we man the saga of the electric-hedgehog Pokemon.
Normally I’d say thanks for the reminder, but with that hideous ‘electric’ font the confirmation really is appreciated.
Typo Cunter: 3
It is set in, and around, the city of Cwcville, a vibrant community with good people and average amoung of cool places to chill at. I am the mayor.
Places like… a severely tilted sign. And a road where the traffic divider runs over the adjoining hillside. And single two-story home right next to an office block and a shopping center. And some kind of giant white tent.
And yes, Chris is the mayor of an entire town named after himself.
Typo Cunter: 4
This is Sonichu, the electric-hedgehog Pokemon, and main character.
Hobbies: Running, surfing, chillin’,…mostly outdoor activities.
He already sounds insufferable.
Other facts: He enjoys the scenery around him.
Even when it’s blobular and at really weird angles.
His favorite colors are yellow and blue, and he enjoys popular music.
Well, at least he isn’t a hipster who only listens to music because it’s unpopular…
And he loves Rosechu!
Rosechu is a spunky, and very beautiful, girl electric-hedgehog Pokemon.
I would like to remind our American readers that in pretty much the entire rest of the world ‘spunk’ is a euphemism for semen.
Hobbies: Frolicing through the fields, shopping at Cwcville Mall and cooking.
Yes, you read that correctly. Chris-Chan was, and very much still is, insanely sexist. This will become more clear later on, although honestly by this point it’s already pretty damned clear.
Typo Cunter: 5
Her original trainer is the caring girl, Kel. “Rosey” is Rosechu’s nickname, and she likes to pick flowers. Her favorite flower is the zapbud.
I’m pretty sure that’s the only flower ever shown to grow around Cwcville.
She always keep her heart saved for her Sonichu!
And her grammar saved for Tarzan!
Actually, the way that is phrased makes it sound like she plans to have her heart cryogenically frozen after her death and transplanted into Sonichu’s chest or something.
Kel is Rosechu’s caring Pokemon trainer.
And… that’s it as far as Kel is concerned, apparently. She’s a Pokemon trainer, and she’s ‘caring’.
It’s worth mentioning that she no longer looks like a turkey leg, although ‘Grey alien with a meat cleaver embedded in her skull’ is hardly better.
Naitsirhc is the son of Team Rocket Boss, Giovanni.
I think those things on his head are supposed to be goggles which in turn direct a sort of afro-ponytail… it’s hard to tell.
And yes, his name is in fact ‘Christian’ spelled backwards. Fan theories predominate as to why this is, and I will get into them in more detail as the character actually develops, but the general consensus seems to be that he was intended as a sort of ‘evil opposite’ to Chris’s self-insert. I actually don’t think that’s likely right now because later on he will explicitly describe himself as Chris’s evil opposite after his character design and motivations have gone through radical changes. I’m not really sure what prompted his creation.
Black Sonichu (aka Blachu):
He’s Sonichu’s evil twin. He was created in Giovanni’s lab from Sonichu’s DNA, with an accidental dose of cherry cola.
Yeah, that’s about the level of science we’ll be dealing with throughout the comic. Rainbows go red-orange-yellow-blue-green-purple-lavender, the Chaos Emeralds are contact-transferrable to Pokemon, and cherry cola turns clones into Shadow the Hedgehog recolors.
Multiple people in the Sonichu community have pointed out that early on Chris really liked to use the ‘hero, lover, rival triad’ trope to set up his characters and their relationships, although he often went back and forth on exactly who was who as he introduced new characters and forgot about old ones. Here we have an obvious HLR setup with Sonichu being the hero, Zapbud being the lover, and Shadow being the rival among the Electric Hedgehog Pokemon… but we also have Shadow’s trainer Naitsrhc being set up as a human rival to Sonichu’s trainer Chris… and Rosechu has a female trainer named Kel.
The implications should be obvious. Icky, but obvious.
From the rainbow of Chaos Emerald energy, eggs were released into various location around the world.
It’d’a been nice if we could have seen that when the rainbow was actually on screen… we’re not even past the zeroth issue and Chris is already having to resort to retcons to patch the comic’s continuity.
They hatched into five more electric hedgehogs with special characteristics. When all the hedgehog Pokemon are together, they make up…
The Chaotic Combo
I liked mine better.
Wild Sonichu: Wild was raised in a jungle by a Venisaur, who taught him razor-leaf, and a Scyther taught him how to access his speed and ninja skills.
Yeah that’s totally how that works.
Why are they all called Sonichus, though? That seems pointlessly confusing, especially when Chris already came up with the term ‘Electric Hedgehog Pokemon’ to describe them and also sometimes just uses ‘Hedgehogs’.
Typo Cunter: 6
Magi-chan Sonichu: Magi-chan raised himself in the mountains as he meditated and perfected his telekenitic powers. He tends to keep to himself a lot.
Seems like he‘d be a better candidate for the term ‘wild sonichu’ than the actual Wild Sonichu, seeing as he is literally a feral child.
Bubbles Rosechu: Bubbles was raised by a mother Swampert who taught her to create tidal waves.
As opposed to being raised by a… childless Swampert?
Chris isn’t the only writer I’ve seen who does this, it shows up a lot in news articles, but it still comes across as vaguely creepy.
Bubbles has a happy, positive personality,
I will give Chris a smidgen of credit for not actually explicitly describing her personality as ‘bubbly’ here, but you can tell he really wanted to.
and she just loves to have fun.
As opposed to all of those people out there who just well and truly hate having fun.
Punchy Sonichu: Punchy grew up in a dojo,
Which somehow caused his eyes to physically transform from the standard Sonic figure-eight to a Yellow Peril poster.
where he perfected his punches.
No kicking or dodging or grappling, mind you, just punches.
It was a very specific dojo.
He is also full of Random-Access Humor.
This is the first instance of Chris using terminology he himself invented in his comic and expecting us to understand what it means.
In this case, “Random-Access Humor” refers to what could charitably be described as absurdist or surreal humor, or more accurately described simply as the well-known bane of social media and two-chapter-long trollfics, LOLRANDOM “humor”.
It’s possible to introduce neologisms in a story without explicitly explaining what they mean by using context so that even if the reader is initially confused they will quickly realize what is going on. Here, however, Chris has the dual problems of using a term for something that already has a conventional English term for it, and also IIRC never using the term ‘Random-Access Humor’ in the comic ever again.
He lost his tail in a brutal fight.
Angelica Rosechu: Angelica was raised in a church by nuns. Angelica is a beliver, so she prays every night and day.
Such deep character development!
Typo Cunter: 6
She is usually at peace especially while flying sky-high
Must be from a very liberal order of nuns.
Flame the Sunbird is the protector of the Master Sunstone on the mysterious Rainbow Island.
We’ll get to him later on, although for now I’d just like to point out that Chris-Chan seems able to draw eyes in only one of three ways: “Sonic”, “Anime”, and “Yellow Peril with a dash of Grey Alien”. I suppose Flame should count himself lucky that he didn’t get either of the previous two, but that face is still going to haunt my dreams for the next few weeks.
Of mysterious origins, three more electric-hedgehog Pokemon will rock Cwcville…
Oh golly, I wonder who this might be!
We’ll get to these two later on as well, although for now it’s simply worth mentioning that they make up a more obvious HLR triad alongside Chris-Chan Sonichu. I still think that Kel and Naitsirhc were meant to make up another, and the fact that both are included in the same comic despite being mutually exclusive is simply an artifact of Chris’s miniscule attention span and Sonichu 0 being assembled over the course of multiple years.
And then a couple of two-bit villains…(I wouldn’t even give two cents for them)
The going price of a new comic book from a small publisher these days is about $15. Chris should probably consider investing a little more into his character development.
Slaweel the Witch
This is (I think) the first instance of a problem that’s going to show up again and again throughout Sonichu– the fact that multiple different versions of the comics exist with changes ranging from minor textual substitutions to entire arcs being altered. That means extra work for me in tracking them all down, so, thanks Chris.
In this case, the caption below the smiling Grey alien with red elf ears and a yellow crew cut originally read “Mary Lee Walsh” and not “Slaweel the Witch”. We will get into the reasons why, as well as the mildly terrifying story behind the ‘Jerkops”, when those characters properly appear in the comics, but for the time being I am just kind of tickled pink by the idea of this evil Satanist witch who spars with electric hedgehog pokemon having such an utterly mundane name.
CAPTION: And, lastly, there is me, the intrusive creator in Sonichu’s story, Christian Weston Chandler!
Intrusive is right!
People, breaking the fourth wall in a work can allow you to make some decent jokes, but it is not in and of itself funny. It’s just annoying.
- Born on February 24, 1982
No, that date is not a typo. Chris was twenty-two years old when he drew this comic.
- I’m working towards a Computer Aided Drafting & Design degree at Piedmont Virginia Community College.
And yet he draws Station Square as a giant red-and-black blob with occasional American flags.
- I am also single, lonely, and I need a girlfriend!
Always a good thing to include in the ‘about the author’ section of your professionally-published comic.
CAPTION: To describe myself, in real life, I am a very creative person.
“Which is why my comic is nothing but a collection of Sonic recolors and people I know IRL transformed into Sonic recolors!”
I enjoy playing video games:
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Animal Crossing
I also like to build with Lego pieces, and I enjoy most kinds of music. I am also fascinated with the Transformers. I also play the Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card games.
I repeat, this author is 22 years old.
CAPTION: *Please enjoy the rest of this comic, and for more information on Sonichu, check out “CWC’s Sonichu Site!” at… http://sonichuchandler.tripod.com/cwcson.htm
It’s interesting to note that even though Chris re-edited the dialogue on this page to change “Mary Lee Walsh”, he left the URL to his long-since-defunct website completely unchanged.
Sonichu in… Episode 2: Genesis of the Lovehogs
Wait… wasn’t the last episode the genesis of the Electric Hedgehog Pokemon? How is this the genesis of the ‘lovehogs’.
Also, “The Lovehogs” sounds like some kind of hippy biker gang.
I’d rather be reading about them, actually.
Oh…since my transformation, my new, bigger body needs more food than before! And nuts and apples can’t cut it!
It’s been over a week now, and I’m sooo hungry…
Odd that of all the various bullshit Chris has explained through magic or simply not giving a fuck so far, this is the one bit of realism he decided to include.
Not only that…I feel so lonesome!
Why is there an arrow pointing to this dialogue box? Why not just have it be attached to the bottom of the panel? Or just put both sentences on top?
Where’s she running off to?
AAAAnd here come the stalker vibes as Sonichu chases Zapbud’s weirdly elongated tail and/or trail of hearts and glitter (Audience members with diabetes should remember to consult with your doctor before reading Sonichu). What was Zapbud even doing at the river anyway? She didn’t seem to have any kind of hiking or fishing equipment, and as soon as she got there just turned around and left. Maybe she was looking for the random Mario ‘?’ block floating off on the right side of the page.
Oh Christ, this is next to unreadable. In previous pages Chris seemed to be digitally whiting out the background where he placed his letters; here they just run half-off the borders of the speech bubbles and onto the dark background.
And Kel looks like an abnormally round turkey leg now. The panel where she is half cut off and there’s just her ponytail and that one wide-open staring eye is particularly terrifying.
Not sure why she has so many potted sunflowers in the corners of her cabin, but Feng Shuei is as decent a hobby as any I guess.
15 minutes later…
SONICHU: So…she lives in that cabin, huh? And with her trainer…maybe I can get a bite as well!
That makes it sound like Sonichu expects to eat Kel.
KEL: Did you have fun, Rosey?
KEL: Well, come on in, I’m fixing some Brunswick stew!
Apparently it’s a real thing, although generally ‘fixing’ implies more than just heating up leftovers in a microwave. If this were any other comic I’d say the author was purposefully and ham-handedly trying to rep for the attractions of his native Virginia, but knowing Chris it’s equally likely he has no conception that there are parts of the world where Brunswick stew isn’t a common meal.
ZAPBUD: Since my transformation last week, I’ve felt so lonesome, because there’s no other Pokemon like me to love
It’s worth noting that the only letter Chris EVER types in lowercase in his comic is the ‘e’ in Pokemon, although he still fails to put the little accent mark above it.
KEL: Aw…relax, Rosey! What about my Dragonite, David; he’s loyal!
ZAPBUD: Aw, come on, Kel, David’s just too big for me! You can have him, I don’t want him!
KEL: Well, can’t say I didn’t try…hey, for all we know, your love could be just around the corner…
KEL: …or right at the door!
ZAPBUD: I’ll get that!
ZAPBUD: Hello, how may I…
That line combined with Sonichu’s weirdly sleazy expression is giving this whole thing a supremely pornographic vibe, I have to say.
SONICHU: I’m just a wild one who hasn’t eaten much for over a week, can you help me out?
It’s getting worse!
ZAPBUD: I don’t believe it…a handsome Pokemon who is like me…I’ve got to learn about him!
ZAPBUD: Come on in!
ZAPBUD: So, what’s your name?
How are these characters supposed to be posed in that last panel? Are they warming their hands in front of the fire? (Why does Kel have a fire going in the day time in the summer, anyway?) Are they doing some kind of Disney dance number where they hold each other at arm’s length and then spin around the room? Why do they both suddenly have giant Popeye forearms?
ZAPBUD: My name’s Rosechu, but you can call me anytime…
Nah, I think I’ll continue to call you ‘Zapbud’.
What even is the point of this line? Does the cabin even have a phone?
It’s also just occurred to me that Kel only ever wears a single outfit despite this supposedly taking place several days after her first appearance in Episode 1.
SONICHU: How about I call you Rosey?
ZAPBUD: That’s my nickname!
ZAPBUD: Hey, Kel, we have a guest!
Oh my GOD what the hell is going on here?! Does Zapbud have a second head and torso waiting within her primary one to burst out and shout things whenever needed?
And is that heart made out of smaller hearts (*pauses to give himself another insulin injection*) a thing that actually happens at this point, or did Chris just put it there to fill in extra white space in the comic layout?
SONICHU: Boy, I thought I was the speedy one!
Actually, you’ve been standing in the living room for at least a minute before Zapbud decided to mention to Kel you were there, so if anything she’s on the slow end.
SONICHU: Well, I think she’s cute anyway!
KEL: Who is it, Rosey? The stew’s almost ready, and I…
ZAPBUD: Kel, this is Sonichu! He wishes to break bread with us!
Who says that in casual conversation? It’s even more awkward here because the displacement of the text on the bottom to accomodate Zapbud’s ears (why not just put the dialgoue box overtop of them?) makes it seem like there’s these big long pauses between “to”, “break”, and “bread”.
Chris, you do realize that in a comic the placement of the dialogue on the page affects how it will be percieved by the reader, don’t you?
Then again, it’s probably best that Chris wasn’t aware of this particular means of storytelling.
KEL: Wow! Another hedgehog Pokemon, and a male, for Rosechu! Ahh! This must be fate!
KEL: It’s nice to meet you, Sonichu! Have a seat with Risey;
Typo Cunter: 7
the stew’s almost ready. Rosey, entertain your new boyfriend!
ZAPBUD: So, what’s your favorite color?
SONICHU: Uh…yellow? No, blue!
One night, a few days later…
Sonichu looks pissed in that last panel. I’d like to think it’s because he still hasn’t been able to decide what his favorite color actually is.
SONICHU: It sure is!
ZAPBUD: Isn’t the night sky so romantic?
ZAPBUD: I could just sit here and look at it for hours with you!
SONICHU: Yeah…but then we’d fall asleep together!
SONICHU: And I wouldn’t have it any other way, Rosey…♥
What the fuck is this dialogue out of order?? And now Chris’s ham-handed attempt to set the mood have devolved to physically including emoticons in the text.
And Sonichu still looks pissed.
ZAPBUD: Oh, Sonichu, I’m so happy with you! I l♥ve you!
SONICHU: And I l♥ve you, Rosechu!
SONICHU: As often as birds tweet, you are my lovely heartsweet!
ZAPBUD: Oh! Sonichu!
“Your poetry is…. terrible!”
And then they close their eyes and hold hands while three giant geysers go off in the background (?).
I wasn’t aware West Virginia had snow-capped mountains in it. Perhaps this and the fire were supposed to indicate it is actually in a colder part of the year.
And then their kiss causes fireworks to spontaneously appear because that’s totally how that works. Evidently Sonichu did not find the Brunswick stew to be particularly filling (or was just never given any, seeing as we didn’t actually see it served) since in this panel he is still snarling angrily and attempting to bite off most of the left side of Zapbud’s face.
Zapbud’s tail is wrapped twice around Sonichu’s, which simply cannot be comfortable.
And after that we get… some kind of an ad!
Yes, the ‘V’ is inserted after the fact in “GAME BOYADANCE!”. Or possibly “GAME BOY NDYNWCE” if the box art is any indication.
Yes, that is another copyright notice.
And yes, Chris really does expect that Nintendo would actually want to make these games.