Jump to content
Hondo's Bar

Street Fighter


The NZA
 Share

Recommended Posts

In the vein of G.I. Joe, Masters of the Universe, Ninja Turtles & Transformers, Image has decided to pick up/bring back another popular franchise - formerly, a 3-issue failed attempt by now-defunct Malibu Comics - Street Figher.

The art so far looks tight, but like any image comic - much less one based on this game - is there enough story to back it up, or will it simply be a haven for bad writing, a la Tekken?

Only time will tell, but since I figure a few of you might dig it (artistic), here's the lowdown.

 

Thread with Image's promo on the book

 

streetfighter_cvr.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

Been wondering where this book went....Newsarama, natch:

 

SFII00CovColFinal.jpg

 

ERIK KO & KEN SIU-CHONG ON THE RETURN OF STREET FIGHTER

 

After a few months of being completely off the radar, UDON is returning in October with a relaunch of Street Fighter (part of the larger “Street Fighter Month”) as well as Exalted, a comic adaptation of the White Wolf RPG. Also, with the return, UDON is taking on a new challenge as well – self-publishing.

 

We caught up with UDON’s Chief of Operations Erik Ko and Street Fighter II writer Ken Siu-Chong to talk about the company, the Capcom relationship, and the upcoming return to Street Fighter.

 

Newsarama: First off, what the hell happened? Street Fighter - admittedly, it wasn’t a monthly, but at least it was coming out, and Darkstalkers seemed to be finding an audience, and then…nothing.

 

Erik Ko: First of all, I’d like to say sorry to all the fans who thought UDON fell off the face of the Earth! We’re still here! Though the lengthy hiatus was a little longer than even we expected. There were a number of factors that contributed to it. You’re right - sales were still going strong for Street Fighter, and Darkstalkers was picking up steam, but there were some other outside factors.

 

First and foremost, there was some restructuring of UDON’s ownership that - to make a long story short - led to the decision for us to dive into self-publishing. As you can see in this month’s Previews catalog, UDON is setting out on its own as a full-fledged publisher in October as a part of Street Fighter Month. It was just something that we felt we needed to do to allow UDON to grow as a company.

 

NRAMA: So you’re completely separate from Devil’s Due now? There’s no relationship anymore?

 

EK: Correct. Devil’s Due has been great to us and Josh Blaylock and the gang are some of the best people in the business, but UDON as a company needed to stretch its wings and with a number of exciting projects in the works, going out on our own was the only choice. With that move came some growing pains as the “behind-the-scenes” stuff that comes with starting a new business took up most of our attention. Legal paperwork, setting up UDON with the printers and organizing things - such as Street Fighter Month - with Diamond all took a lot longer than we expected.

 

Another reason for the delay was that we wanted to recharge our batteries creatively and to try to get back on schedule. Last year UDON was honored to work with Capcom on the artwork of their new game Capcom Fighting Evolution, but that turned out taking up much more of our time than anticipated. Work on the comics basically had to come to a halt while we finished off the video game work. By the time we came back, while we were incredibly pumped about seeing our work appear in a videogame, we discovered that we were months behind schedule. From then on, each month we were struggling to keep our heads above water, schedule-wise, and it was decided that at the end of the second Street Fighter arc and the first Darkstalkers arc, we’d need to take a break to get back on track. During that break is when it was decided to go into self-publishing which was the reason for the unexpected delay.

 

But in October, we will finally be returning and hopefully fans will think it was worth the wait. The creative team’s really busting their tails to make sure when readers pick up the new Street Fighter book, they’re going to be blown away!

 

NRAMA: As you mentioned, you’re a little more than just a licensee to Capcom – can you explain your relationship with them in a little more detail?

 

EK: UDON has really been lucky to forge such a great relationship with a licensor like Capcom. While we still are a licensee, our working relationship with Capcom has grown very close over recent years. There’s a certain level of trust there that is really rare, I think. Obviously they wouldn’t have hired us for the Evolution game if there wasn’t. We are now more like close partners in promoting the Street Fighter brand.

 

NRAMA: How much of the design work does UDON do for Capcom these days? They have their own acclaimed in-house artists and design staff, but your art seems to be showing up on a lot of products as well…

 

EK: As I have said before, our relationship with Capcom has morphed into more than just a licensing relationship. Throughout the last 2 years, we visited Capcom Japan, and the Japanese artists of Capcom have also visited San Diego Con. We got to meet with those artists like Kinu Nishimura, Shoei, Ikeno, Shinkiro, and Edayan, who we worshipped as fans ourselves, and they are very helpful in giving us guidance in our creative development. They now become our mentor, which we feel honored that they would treat us like friends. And they have been kind enough to try us out on projects like Capcom Fighting Jam/Evolution, and Darkstalkers PSP. Right now, we are constantly talking to them on other possible projects, including cover art and maybe some design works.

 

NRAMA: Does your “licensee plus” relationship with Capcom translate into more autonomy when it comes to what goes into the Street Fighter storyline?

 

Ken Siu-Chong: The story is basically an amalgamation of the storylines from the Street Fighter Alpha and Street Fighter II storylines, so while there are many elements from the official SF canon, it differs in many respects. This was a conscious decision right from the get-go since we knew that taken as-is, the official storyline wouldn’t work as a comic without changes. Reiterating what Erik was saying, we really are lucky to have built up such a level of trust between a huge company like CAPCOM and a tiny one like us. Of course there was an initial feeling out period when we first started off, but CAPCOM really liked what we were doing and where we were taking the story. They basically told us that they trusted us and as long as the story was true to the characters, we could do what we wanted in the story since it was outside of the videogame series continuity—we could essentially create our own continuity. With that said, we knew since the beginning that we wouldn’t be straying too far from the official storyline since we know that is what the fans wanted to see. So no, we’re not going to behead Ken or have Ryu and Chun-Li…how should I put it?

 

NRAMA: Delicately.

 

KS-C: Making babies!

 

NRAMA: Ken, while you’re here, tell us about Street Fighter II #0 in October – does this follow from the last series, or is it the start of new stories?

 

KS-C: Street Fighter II #0, and #1 a month later, are really both. While we’re continuing the main overriding story that we had outlined since the beginning, we knew that with such a long hiatus, we needed to make SFII #0 and #1 jumping on points that would let both new and old readers get on board. Really we’re just starting the third arc in the series, but we’re aiming to make it as accessible as possible, which is part of the reasoning behind renaming the series Street Fighter II and starting over at #1. It made perfect sense story-wise as well since those familiar with the continuity know that we’re approaching the story elements that were most prevalent in the Street Fighter II game, which is the game that created the whole Street Fighter craze in the first place. In a way, you could think of the current arc starting in October as the “main” story that we’ve been working up to, while the previous two arcs were the prequels.

 

NRAMA: That said, how is the series laid out? That is, are there overarching arcs with smaller stories, or are these just small, unconnected stories?

 

KS-C: Each arc we’ve done so far has been a part of a bigger storyline that we’ve had mapped out. The big event is pretty obvious—the Street Fighter II Tournament where all hell’s going to break loose and all the major conflicts will come to a head. Ryu will have to take what he’s learned throughout the entire story and face Akuma, while everyone who has a bone to pick with Bison is finally going to get their chance. After the big climax, we’re then aiming to move into the Street Fighter III territory which we’re all really looking forward to since so little of that story has been told. We’d really be breaking new ground.

 

NRAMA: So, generally speaking, as with eth game, the larger story her is still Ryu’s, correct? What makes him the ideal protagonist for the story?

 

KS-C: Correct – and while every Street Fighter player has their favorite and might like to argue otherwise, yes, Ryu is definitely the lead character. He’s Capcom’s archetype for the heroic wandering warrior. As for what makes him a great protagonist for readers, I think it might have to do with how Ryu, while possessing apparently superhuman powers, is more grounded than your everyday comic superheroes. That might sound ridiculous considering he can throw fireballs from his hands, but unlike traditional superheroes, Ryu has become the world’s greatest fighter through his own determination. He wasn’t bitten by a radioactive spider or born on another planet—he just wanted to better himself through martial arts and was willing to put in the time and effort to do it.

 

NRAMA: Bringing those who don’t know it up to speed – Ryu’s best friend is Ken…and Akuma killed Gouken, who was Ryu's trainer, right?

 

KS-C: Pretty much. Ryu and Ken were childhood pals that shared an intense but friendly rivalry when they were training under Master Gouken. Ryu was always focused on his training, and much more reserved and serious—much more “Japanese”—while Ken was his cocky American counterpart who sometimes focused too much on looking good and having fun. They were opposites that complemented each other.

 

Akuma was Gouken’s brother and murderer. They had always been at odds since Akuma believed that becoming the most powerful fighter and winning were goals that must be attained at any cost—even if it meant killing. This was something Gouken was completely against. After disappearing for many years, Akuma one day returned to Gouken’s dojo and killed him in a duel using the Dark Hadou - the power that his murderous intent unlocked in him. Obviously Gouken’s murder is something Ryu doesn’t take too kindly to, so he sets out to become strong enough to beat Akuma in the Street Fighter tournament using the teachings of Gouken. Basically, Ryu wants to defeat Akuma by showing him that Gouken’s teachings were the true essence of martial arts. But as Ryu goes through his training, he realizes that the dark powers Akuma tapped into are much more tempting than he anticipated…

 

NRAMA: But Ryu, Ken and Gouken are hardly the only characters. Broad strokes – how do the other characters fit in? Are they all related to Ken and Ryu?

 

KS-C: No - all the characters have their own separate stories with their own reasons for fighting. Some of those stories intersect, and there are some common enemies that are shared amongst the characters, but they’re not all related to Ken and Ryu. Those familiar with the Street Fighter universe know what a crazy web it is, with many characters having the most unexpected connections to other characters. In the Street Fighter Eternal Challenge reference book, there is actually a relationship chart that maps all the connections between the characters and it’s really quite insane. It looks like a tangled ball of yarn! One of the biggest challenges has been trying to make sure all the characters’ stories are shown effectively while not making things too convoluted.

 

NRAMA: Where does the series go from the start?

 

KS-C: For the launch of the new series, I wanted to sort of bring the story back to basics. One of the criticisms of the first arc was that there was too much focus on Ryu and that not enough screen time was given to the other characters in the Street Fighter universe. I might have been a little overzealous in fixing that in the second arc as now, looking back, it might have focused more on Cammy and Chun-Li’s stories than Ryu’s. Cammy and Chun-Li’s stories are integral to the SF universe, but I probably should have balanced it out better. For the new series, there is a deliberate refocusing on Ryu’s travels which really are the backbone of Street Fighter. The new arc will be looking deeper into Ryu’s internal struggles as he tries to become a stronger fighter without falling into the same dark temptations that Akuma did. One of the first challenges he’ll face is having a rematch with Sagat. We teased readers with that rematch before, but this time around, we’re not pulling any punches.

 

NRAMA: Moving away from the story, Erik - what will the frequency of this series be? Do you have your scheduling issues worked out so you won't be seeing a slip?

 

EK: Now that we’re back on track we hope to be on a monthly schedule. To us, we are always more caring about the quality. We feel that we owe it to everyone, from the fans, to the trusting Capcom, and ourselves, that we have to put out the best art we can. However, we do acknowledge that there is a schedule to keep. This is a periodical publication after all. We promise will do our best to put out a monthly series with stunning quality story and art.

 

NRAMA: How did UDON get involved in Street Fighter Month? Was it your idea, or were things already rolling when you joined in?

 

EK: We knew that when we relaunched, we wanted to do it with a bang. Over the months of the hiatus, a lot of time was spent coordinating with the other Street Fighter licensees to make the most of things. I have the honor to be involved in coordinating some cross promotion events for all licensees at San Diego, and thus formed a closer relationship with all Capcom licensees. And I found out that we were all going to be launching new products roughly around the same time period, so why not take advantage of that? Launching new products together as part of Street Fighter Month could only help all of us. And it is amazing how the Street Fighter licensing family has such tight relationship with each other. A lot has to do with Marc Mostman, Taki Enomoto, and Shu Tanaka – the licensing trio that makes all Street Fighter deals happen. We, as Street Fighter fans have everything to thank them for bringing Street Fighter to the spotlight again!

 

NRAMA: Looking toward the future, are you planning on Street Fighter being the anchor for a larger Capcom line of comics again?

 

EK: Street Fighter will be our flagship title, and we’ll be launching the long-awaited Rival School series in early 2006, and will follow that up with the relaunch of Darkstalkers hopefully around late spring 2006. We’re taking it slow and want to make sure that we don’t try to expand too quickly, especially since this will be our first experience at self-publishing. Also, as Newsarama readers know, we’re also expanding our horizons with a comic based on the popular White Wolf property, Exalted. Later in 2006, we’re also looking at possibly pursuing some other Capcom licenses but we’re still in negotiations and can’t really comment on it yet. We’ll keep you posted!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well i am an extreme capcom and marvel fan. Back when I saw that capcom created a friggin fighting game (my fav genre by my fav co) withcharacters from my fav comic (x-Men COTA) I had to change my pants 5 times before I finished reading the article about it. Now I'm not a fan of malibu errrr image except for wild cats... not even the transition of tmnt from archie impressed me (i liked'em better with archie). spawn is pretty good.... wwwwwww/e ( i tend to confuse darkhorse and image so please forgive me if i ever do). But I just dont understand y they didnt do anything with marvel... its enfuriating! GI Joe, transformers, everything looks better with Marvel in my opinion. Image has friggin awsome art but their stories tend to be superduper dr-iz-y (thats dry in snoop-anese). I'm just really skeptical but i hate being that way about a comic... only other time i was is when darkhorse released the mask thing... but afterwards it turned out to be awsome. Bottom line... im gonna burn down their Hq if they ruin streetfighter and the confusing physics of fireball from hand martial arts ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

on where this fun book has been lately...

 

SFII02covA_DR.jpg

 

Street Fighter's Enduring Popularity

December's Diamond Top 100 chart was basically more of the same that observers have come to expect - DC and Marvel series dominate the ranks, virtually shutting out all other publishers. In fact, for the month, 96 out of the 100 titles are Marvel and DC, the three non big-two titles? Conan (2), Spawn and Street Fighter II.

 

Spawn’s sales, of course, have been helped by a recent creative team shift and revitalization of the series, Conan has been a juggernaut since it's relaunch, but as for Street Fighter II from UDON?

 

We sat down with UDON Chief of Operations Erik Ko and Street Fighter writer Ken Siu-Chong to talk about what keeps the series (and property) going, and a look at the “Raw” editions.

 

Newsarama: Let’s just start with the bare bones - what do you think makes Street Fighter work in comics, especially today?

 

SFII02covB_DR.jpg

 

Erik Ko: It’s a highly competitive market out there nowadays, especially with DC and Marvel doing these across the board crossover stories where every title is related to the other – and I have to add that I’m reading and enjoying them. That said, it’s a very hard battle to fight for shelf space for us smaller publishers. Street Fighter is a 15-year-old franchise that has a very large and loyal fan base. But we also know that these fans will not just buy whatever is out there. The Street Fighter fans are always looking for top quality products and that is exactly what we are always striving to provide them. I think we’ve found a mix that works, with our art and story.

 

NRAMA: So it’s mostly a matter of the property’s fans still looking for any and everything that is Street Fighter?

 

EK: Yes, and no. As I said, the fans are very, very loyal – not to mention growing in number, but at the same time, and they've proved this over and over, they're not going to pick up anything that says "Street Fighter" on it. So, while they're very loyal, they're also very discriminating. We're honored that our series have found such acceptance with them.

 

NRAMA: You’ve announced the “Raw” Editions – stripped down versions of the issues, available as incentives for retailers. What was the reason behind this black and white edition?

 

SFII01RAWprev1.jpg

 

EK: We have always wanted to do something to reward the retailers that are supporting us, as well as to give other retailers more incentive to order our books. But in my opinion, doing another variant cover just wouldn’t cut it. We at UDON always want to kick things up a notch. And since the beginning of Street Fighter II, Alvin Lee has been sending in these gorgeous pencils that really wowed everyone who’ve seen them. It seems as if UDON has been most well know for our coloring, but I really think Alvin has evolved into something different after his Darkstalkers run and definitely feel that he is among one of the best young artists out there in the market today. I thought it was a shame that people did not get to see Alvin's strength, so we decided to make this incentive a showcase of Alvin's work, to show the raw power of his pages. Thus the name “Raw Editions.” We really wanted to make this a special collectible, very much like an extra bonus DVD with behind the scenes looks at how we create the SF comic! And to top it all off, writer Ken Siu-Chong joined Lee to provide a running commentary throughout the entire issue and provides his entire comic script at the end.

 

Ken Siu-Chong: Yeah, Alvin and I had a real blast doing the commentary. We basically loaded up the pages on our computers and chatted on MSN while we went through each one. We thought it was pretty hilarious that we were acting like some big shot movie directors or screenwriters doing a DVD commentary. It was also a great opportunity to share some of the motivations we had behind our work… like why Alvin laid out a page a certain way, or why I decided to change some of the story elements from the official game story. And like everyone else, Alvin’s pencils always blew me away, and I’m glad that there’s now a way for fans to see them.

 

SFII01RAWprev3.jpg

 

NRAMA: Now we have Ken here talking, can we get some clues on what is in stores in the "new season" of Street Fighter?

 

KS-C: First off, as you can see at the end of issue #1, coming up will be the long awaited fight between Ryu and Sagat, and this time it's for real! We've teased the readers long enough and wanted to give readers an all-out brawl. In a way, that’s sort of the theme—bringing to fruition some of the stories that we’ve teased readers with for a while. Right away in issue #1, we revealed a big chunk of Rose and Bison’s origin, and will be revealing the entire relationship they have with Cammy before the current arc is done. We’re also finally bringing in the rest of the Super Street Fighter II cast as T. Hawk and Dhalsim finally make their debuts and take on significant roles in the story and not little cameos—like I said, we’re not teasing this time. But I guess the biggest thing to look forward to is Ryu’s struggling with his dark power as the event everyone’s been waiting for—the Street Fighter II Tournament—gets underway at the end of this arc and the beginning of the next.

 

SFII0202fin.jpg

SFII0203fin.jpg

SFII0204fin.jpg

 

Street Fighter II issue #1, a jumbo-sized issue, has sold out of its initial printing, and the second printing will be shipping this week, along with issue #2 of the series. Retailers should note that the Raw Edition incentive also applies to second print orders while limited supplies last.

 

Street Fighter II issue #2 is a 32-page full color comic by Ken Siu-Chong and Alvin Lee, with inks by M3Th and colors by Espen Grundetjern. It also features a backup story by fan-favorite Skottie (New Mutants) Young. This issue ships with 2 covers (Alvin Lee and Skottie Young). And, as it will for every subsequent issue in the series, the Raw Edition incentive program will apply to issue #2 while limited supplies last.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...