Est. qty: 1,000
Right now on eBay
Sonic The Hedgehog #1:
Sega, Fall 1991.Rare
Written and drawn by Francis Mao, this comic was produced by Sega as a promo copy, issued in Canada and the USA, to publicize the release of the Sonic the Hedgehog game for the Sega Genesis in 1991.
The comic introduces a number of the now familiar characters and acts as background to the game with the reader being encouraged to "...play Sonic the Hedgehog and live the adventure !!".
It is not clear exactly how many copies were produced but it is expected that not many would have survived as the distribution was aimed at the video game market rather than the comic market (hence many may have ended up in the trash). However, a few have been collected and their value is on the up, with a notable increase in interest in 2011 to coincide with the 20th Anniversary of the game.
Above is an extract from an early sketch for the comic with the final portion of the page shown below.
In 2011 (the year of the anniversary) only a single copy of this comic was registered in the CGC registry but more have appeared recently. Raw and PGX graded copies do appear on auction sites such as eBay but, with only a handful of realized sales in the last couple of years, it is difficult to calculate an exact guide price. Given the rarity of this comic, if a high grade CGC copy came to market, it could well make close to $1,000.
In addition to the glossy cover version of the promo there also seems to be a comic-sized newsprint variant which has the word "ADVERTISEMENT" along the top edge. This is also dated 1991 but has no mention of Fall/Autumn or a definitive date inside and it has no price. Below is one that was purchased and sent to CGC and curiously categorised the same as the smaller glossy variant:
There also seems to be another variant that was printed with Justice League Europe #33 in late 1991, probably just after the glossy promo. This does look very similar to the newsprint variant so they could be one and the same (one is in the comic and the other has either been taken out or was given away separately). At the moment there is scant infomation on the newsprint promo (above) so anyone with any infomation please get in touch.
It is worth noting that this comic was re-printed later as a free gift in the popular UK Gaming magazine Mean Machines in issue #16, dated January 1992. This version measures almost 11.5 inches by 8 inches (whilst the original glossy promo is smaller than a standard comic book this one is larger!). The UK variant also has no advertising inside (the story starts on the inside of the front cover and ends on the back cover).
Whilst there would have been a large print run for these, it is likely that they are pretty rare now given the audience wasn't the comic market. The magazines (with the comic) can be found on eBay in the UK and there are usually a small number for sale each year.
To conclude, there seems to be three or four different versions of the Sonic Promo (all featuring the same story) and maybe there are even more out there. For the moment the smaller glossy promo seems to be the first appearance of Sonic in a comic book hence should be viewed as the more valuable and collectible variant, at least for the moment anyway...