Review: Sonic Select
I should be writing how much I hated Sonic Select. If anything that I’ve read lately has shown me that I’m getting old, these two volumes of Sonic Select have accomplished that.
By Mike Gallagher, Illustratedby David Manak
Grades 2-5 (Publisher Recommendation)
Grades 4-8 (My suggestion)
Archie Comics, April 2008, 978-1-879794-29-0,
$11.95, 128 pp.
Archie Comics, November 208, 978-1-879794-36-8
$11.95. 128 pp.
So why did I read these comics? Well, I had to know why these books were so popular with the boys! 6th and 7th graders would jump all over me the last couple of years wondering where the volumes of Sonic were. And since the volumes can be rather slim (Not the Sonic Select, but the regular Sonic Archives), they easily got lost on the shelf (or lost in some students backpack or you know somehow lost from the library, but that’s another story!).
I have to admit, it did take me a while to get into this. Like I said, these books made me feel old, and it took me a while to connect. But slowly, I started to enjoy the adventures of Sonic and his pals.
For those who aren’t familiar with Sonic’s history, it goes as follows. Sonic the Hedgehog is based on a videogame that was created in the early 1990s by Sega Genesis. As a videogame there have been many incarnations since and is available for current game systems, like Wii, DS, etc. (we are reviewing the comic here, and not the game! GameSpot has a 25-minute video that explains the history of the Sonic game.
Sonic fights the evil Dr. Robotnik and his robot creations. He has a team of friends, freedom fighters that help him in his fight for good over evil. There’s Sally, the princess of Knothole village. Tails, Sonic’s trusty apprentice, Knuckles his friendly nemesis, as well as many other endearing characters.
Sonic Select is like a short story collection of many different Sonic tales. As pegged by the publisher, the best of the best stories will appear in these volumes. The selections don’t necessarily flow one into the other. Some sections/chapters are continuous stories, while other stories seem to stop in the middle. A box does appear to let the reader know where readers can find the rest of the story, but somehow that just seems like too little too late.
For those unfamiliar with Sonic history, connecting to the characters might take a while. The Sonic Select editions don’t build with the characters from the beginning, but readers will feel like they’re coming into the middle of things.
The artwork is lively. The coloring was simplistic, but just enough to hook a reader’s eye. At times, the graphics felt like they were right out of the video game.
While Sonic probably won’t make it to the top of my reading list anytime soon, I do think that it will continue to appeal to all those 6th and 7th grade boys that come into my library.
About Esther Keller
Esther Keller is the librarian at JHS 278, Marine Park in Brooklyn, NY. There she started the library's first graphic novel collection and strongly advocated for using comics in the classroom. She also curates the Graphic Novel collection for the NYC DOE Citywide Digital Library. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 4 and regularly reviews for SLJ and School Library Connection (formerly LMC). In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics.
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