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Jeff Axer

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Quotation1 At the time there were fans who felt like it was a fan victory to get a sonic fan artist on the sonic comic, but I hadn't been so heavily involved at the time so I learned more about the fan base at that time than I ever had before. Quotation2
Jeff Axer[1]

Jeff Axer, commonly known as Jay Axer, is a former pencil artist for Sonic the Hedgehog comic series published by Archie Comics. Prior to working on Sonic officially, Jay was a well-known fan artist.

History

Pre-career

Although artist Axer himself has mentioned that he had significant interest in the creation of Sonic the Hedgehog franchise-related artwork, he claims to not be a dedicated fan-artist per-se. Additionally, he claimed the reason for his interest in working for the comic book series were dedicated fans of the series, calling it a "fan victory to get a sonic fan artist on the Sonic comic". Axer at the time had more been depicting Sonic characters with machine guns and violence before his official involvement, of which ideas would eventually make its way into the book.[1]

Franchise introduction

Axer was originally reluctant when he was approached to work for the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series, mostly due to his busy schedule. After a discussion with members within the production team he eventually agreed. Writer of the time, Karl Bollers, writer at the time, approached Axer in order to ask whether he is interested in working alongside him on what was going to be newly introduced side stories which would accommodate for Axer's busy schedule. Although artist Axer began his work during the featured side-story "...A Girl Named Hope!" of Sonic the Hedgehog #108, other main-space works also include multiple story panels and front pieces for solicitations and credits of the comic issue.[1]

Some of Axer's most well-known works were his contributions to the "Tossed in Space" story arc and "Homecoming" story arcs. A statement by the artist had been quoted to being given more artist freedom than his artistic ability was able to initially comprehend. A particular case noted by the author during the featured side-story "Heart Held Hostage" of Sonic the Hedgehog #123, had undergone multiple artistic changes due to possible controversial content.[1]

Controversy

Given the artists' artistic past, multiple changes and edits were made to the final product produced by the artist, most of them to do with more mature themes. As previously provided in the featured side-story "Heart Held Hostage" of Sonic the Hedgehog #123, the production idea was to resolve character conflict in a love triangle. Nack the Weasel, was depicted to have a gang of thugs to kidnap the Princess, of which Sonic goes in pursuit goes after them with Mina Mongoose following. Although in the beginning it was intended for Mina to be shot, artist Axer decided it may be logically more appropriate to depict the antagonists to carrying actually real firearms. In addition, A panel was modified and removed of what went to print of Nack loading bullets into his revolver. The head in crosshair also proved to be a significant issue. Another point of content modification in the particular comic issue was when Mina gets shot there is no depiction of blood or gore when originally it was intended. A discussion between Axer and his staff concluded to a decision at the time that it was acceptable that the Mongoose was to be shot but it wouldn't be acceptable to show blood. Although the particular comic panel was originally to be silhouetted, it still couldn't imply any blood from the wound.[1]

Another idea by the artist and writer was to depict Nack playing the piano in certain places within the comic issue, then proceeding to the next issue, a very dark story later of Robotnik retrieving the Chaos Emeralds by hiring Nack, of which Nack then kills two key characters with a piano wire (as if using a Garrote Wire). The artist also stated he was planning to kill Saffron Bee, also with the makeshift Garrote Wire from the piano.[1]

Credits

Lineart

  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • #108: Frontispiece; "...A Girl Named Hope!"
    • #109: Frontispiece; "Mina the Mongoose & Princess Sally '...The Crush!'"
    • #110: Frontispiece; "'One For All' A Tale of Princess Sally"
    • #111: Frontispiece; "I'll Shoot the Sheriff!"
    • #112 - #113: Frontispiece
    • #114: Frontispiece; "Young at Heart"
    • #115: Frontispiece
    • #116: Frontispiece; "Bat Fight!"
    • #117 - #121: Frontispiece
    • #122 - #123: Frontispiece; "Heart Held Hostage"
    • #124: "Sonic Adventure 2.5: Alpha" (Pages 1–5)
    • #125: "Sonic Adventure 2.5: Omega" (Pages 23–27)
    • #126 - #127: Frontispiece
    • #128: Frontispiece; "Tossed in Space - Part 4: Starmada"
    • #129: Frontispiece
    • #130: Frontispiece; "Home - Part One: 'The Blue Blur Returns!'" (Pages 1–3)
    • #131 - #133: Frontispiece
    • #135 - #143: Frontispiece
    • #145: Frontispiece
    • #166: "The Chaotix Connection"

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Jeff Axer (11 November 2016). Archie Sonic Stories about Archie Sonic Stories. DeviantART. Retrieved on 12 January 2017.
Archie Comics staff members

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