Review: Summer of Sonic 2016

Yesterday I went to Summer of Sonic, the record holding fan-made event in collaboration with SEGA that took place in London.

The last time I went to a convention was London MCM Expo in October 2013.

I’ve been to signing events in the past but it’s rare I know of the special guests.

I’m not a fan of dressing up (outside of Halloween) and I admire decent costumes but it really makes me cringe to see people in poorly home-made outfits.

It’s especially embarrassing to see attendees in their twenties and thirties being hen-pecked by their nagging mothers.

I walked through the doors at 11am:

First thing I did was meet the legendary game programmer and original founder of Sonic Team – Yuji Naka, accompanied by current leader – Takashi Iizuka.

Then I found Sonic The Comic’s table and spoke to the extremely talented STC artist – Richard Elson. I also managed to pick up an original artwork of his at a crazy low price.

After queuing for what seemed like forever in a ridiculously long line, I watched Jun Senoue rock out to Sonic Adventure with his badass Shadow guitar and then I met Mike Pollock

You can hear Eggman’s voice in his normal speaking voice and in such clarity. Despite Robotnik’s notoriety, Pollock is exceptionally polite and devoted to please his adoring fans.

I took a break from standing in line all day and watched some people play Sonic Mania over a barricade. The lines for it were so hectic, you wouldn’t be able to fit everything into one day but it looks like an instant classic.

While heading back over to check out some merch tables I bumped into Yuji Naka again, just blending in. He happily signed a second item (since there was a one-item rule on the signing table).

A huge crowd of avid fans had gathered around Tyson Hesse (illustrator for Archie comics). Hesse was swamped with requests but luckily I managed to snag a Metal Sonic sketch on scrap paper. 

He was prepared to give me a sketch, completely free of charge (like everyone else) but I felt bad about exploiting his talent and generosity. So I picked up a print (which he also signed) that he made specially for this event.

Unlike MCM Expo, despite the big crowd and large number of special guests, there wasn’t a claustrophobic atmosphere. 

Crush 40 hit the stage and then the socially awkward audience started wigging out (literally). Some paced back and forth and started talking to their Sonic dolls…?

I saw people ‘dance’ like they were on ecstasy and stomp their feet to an imaginary ‘Dance Dance Revolution’ sequence which they had clearly memorised. Things were getting too weird for me – so I left a little early.

There were so many activities covered by the simple £20 door fee, it was a steal. 

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