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Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog

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#4101 Vertekins

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 01:04 AM

I'm pretty sure SEGA doesn't tyrannically control art style. If they truly did care about the art style to the point it would justify plagiarism and tracing then they have pretty weird priorities because if the backlash over that plagiarism was anything to go by, the fans didn't appreciate paying a couple of dollars an issue just to see shambolic, traced artwork of screenshots that they could've seen any time on Teamartail (Provided they had internet access). Aside from that, the artwork for the issues before 15 and 16 was all original, so the justified plagiarism view holds no ground.

The fans were within their perfect right to complain about that without being labelled as having oversized mouths.

#4102 DarkLight

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 12:26 PM


Probably to save face in the face of a big stink, which the internet likes to do oh so very much. I certainly don't fault the guy for it, what with SEGA making developing that comic a real pain in the exhaust. I bet that was a contributor into it finally ending.

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Remember kids, copying and tracing other people's work will lead to success.....until you get fired. ;)

#4103 Legendary Aqua

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 05:09 PM

then they have pretty weird priorities


Have you forgotten exactly who we're dealing with here? Sega's priorities are anything BUT sound/normal/sane.

#4104 Vampfox

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 08:11 PM

Ken Penders speaks.

Now that some of the facts are starting to come to light via recent filings with the court, and are being posted elsewhere, I can discuss some issues to clarify what is already known.

So far, all Archie Comics has produced are copies of documents allegedly bearing my signature, not any actual documents themselves. In addition, nowhere in the documents are the words "SEGA" and SONIC THE HEDGEHOG" (or "KNUCKLES THE ECHIDNA", "PRINCESS SALLY" or anything else SEGA-related) mentioned anywhere on any of the pages. They have also not submitted any statements to the court from anyone actually working at the company during the 1990's who could verify any first-hand knowledge of the documents themselves. They have submitted a list of freelancers they claim to have contracts on file with, but nowhere on the list are names I've submitted as potential witnesses for my side.

Mike Pellerito did submit a declaration to the court, which my attorneys demonstrated in a filing that virtually everything he said was inadmissible heresay at best, as he started working for the company in 2000, and wasn't the SONIC editor until late 2003/early 2004, well after the events in question. Mike filed statements which were demonstrably incorrect (regarding Elliot S! Maggin) or second-hand knowledge based on office gossip (regarding Scott Shaw!). To give some idea of the inaccuracies filed with the court, I offer the following from court documents available online, specifically in this case Statement 11 from Mike Pellerito's declaration:

11. Elliot Maggin is a well known former writer for DC Comics, and identified as a witness to testify about “standard industry practices… ” Maggin has no relation whatsoever to ACP, or Penders’association with ACP. It seems inappropriate for this Court to base a decision on whether to transfer this case on the location of Penders’possible expert witnesses, who have absolutely no factual connection to this case.

Note the part "Maggin has no relation whatsoever to ACP". I now offer the following exhibit:

Posted Image

You'll notice the name ELLIOT S! MAGGIN in bold white lettering at the top of the comic. He was commissioned by Scott Fulop to write the lead story for this issue, based on Elliot's experience writing SUPERMAN for DC Comics over 17 years. Elliot was not provided with nor did he ever sign a work-for-hire contract for this story. He therefore owns the copyright for this story, not Archie.

Furthermore, Elliot - as he states in his declaration to the court on my behalf - was also my editor at no less than three separate companies, where I submitted work at all three companies prior to any association I had with Archie. At all three companies, he issued me contracts for each and every single assignment prior to my beginning work on each of them. Such arrangements were standard at every company that ever published my work, whether it was Marvel, DC, Malibu, Now, Disney or anywhere else. In other words, Archie is the only company I ever submitted work to in which I was not supplied contracts for each and every assignment. Furthermore, each contract spelled out exactly what I supplying and all other necessary details, totally unlike the documents Archie supplied to the court claiming I had signed.

So, no connection to Archie? No connection to the facts of this case? Really?

Then there's Mike's statements concerning Scott Shaw! with the following:

9. Scott Shaw was an independent contractor for ACP in the early 90’s. ACP ceased doing business with Mr. Shaw when he failed to deliver work product in a timely manner. That was more than 15 years ago.

First, how would Mike know? He wasn't there when Scott submitted work to Archie, so he can't testify first hand exactly why Scott and Archie no longer do business. That doesn't stop him, however, from casting aspersions on Scott's professional reputation. It wouldn't suit the Archie narrative that reasons why Scott and Archie don't currently do business include Scott's strong stand in support of Dan DeCarlo or the fact that Scott has never once been paid for any of his work that has been reprinted numerous times in various formats.

From Scott's declaration can be found the following:

4. Unlike my experience with every other publisher I've submitted work to, I never received any contract or other agreement between Archie, Sega and myself.

As well as this:

13. I also never received any contract from Archie to the work I was hired to do by Victor Gorelick.

The last two items he states should be of particular interest to SONIC fans:

16. I am currently in the process of registering my ownership of all of the materials mentioned in this declaration.

17. I have never had any professional or social interaction with Michael Pellerito and consider his remarks about my reliability to be unfounded and extremely injurious to my professional reputation.


So, yes, in answer to everyone's questions, that means Scott owns his work seen in the original SONIC mini-series, not Archie or SEGA.

Anyone doing their homework will discover there has to be a written transfer for each work created, which means Archie has to have something from the writers or artists in writing for each and every story in order to apply for the copyrights, which they would in turn transfer to SEGA under written agreement. That this has never happened is not the fault of the writers or artists, but with Archie. There is no after-the-fact retroactivity.

Anyone stating that SEGA automatically owns anything and everything published in the comics clearly doesn't understand how copyright laws work.

Ian's statements that his plans regarding Hershey and the upcoming reboot are disingenuous at best as my lawyers and I had been anticipating such moves as we got further along the process. As more facts come to light, it will become clear the reboot storyline is the only way for Archie to continue the series without incurring any further potential legal jeopardy should they lose their case.

This also explains to a certain extent why the SONIC ENCYCLOPEDIA has yet to hit the shelves as well. As one of Ian's friends recently stated online, SEGA has gotten more involved with the comic than ever before, and with good reason.

I would like to stipulate that Ian is not in the loop as much as people think, as least not as far as the legal situation between Archie and I are concerned. He may indeed have made plans, but events possibly forced his hand sooner rather than later, and he certainly can't talk about it without risking the wrath of Archie executives.

Likewise, when Ian talks about his contract with Archie, he is speaking from the perspective of someone who hasn't the same level of experience in the comics industry that I had prior to my experience working on SONIC. All Ian knows is what he's experienced working for Archie on the SONIC books. He has yet to experience life working on a Marvel or DC title, for example. (And if he has, I'm unaware of it.)

It's quite possible as a result of my suit against Archie, Ian will learn Archie doesn't own the rights to his work as airtight as they would claim or he believes. And if Archie doesn't, what position would Ian take? He doesn't own the work? Archie can just keep reprinting his stories without paying him? At his age, he may not care. When he gets to be my age, he may have serious second thoughts at that time.

One of the settlement options my attorneys submitted to Archie was for them to license my work for a fee and pay a royalty for reprints. To date, Archie has rejected all my overtures to discuss the situation in a rational manner without the necessity of a lawsuit. Their response has been nothing more than to claim they outright own my work, that I should acknowledge their ownership and sign over my copyrights without any future benefit of payment or credit, pulling the trigger on a lawsuit before it needed to be.

Ian probably hasn't given the matter thought because his work hasn't been reprinted as yet. However, when it is, unless Archie has already told him he will receive royalties - and good for him if that's the case - it's quite likely he's going to feel different when it happens to him. As for the creators whose work has been reprinted without Archie paying them royalties, I already know how they feel. And Archie knows it's more than just me who isn't happy with their actions.

Everything I've discussed is well known between both sides. Anything more can't be discussed because neither side has no idea at the moment which way the pendulum will swing, as well as what the next moves will be as a result.

As I've stated previously, this is not something I entered into lightly or without much thought. No sane person would proceed any further unless they had the necessary documentation, evidence and witnesses to support their position.

A couple of quick comments to finish on:

if he didn't want SEGA using his concepts, he shouldn't have put them in a SEGA-licensed product in the first place


I do have a response for this, but it'll have to wait until the proper time. You may agree with it, you may not, but it is an honest, legitimate response from my perspective.

Maybe Ken will ultimately emerge triumphant after all and get the rights to the characters he made. Then we might be able to see some official Brotherhood stories.


Because of how everything has been progressing, I've been waiting for the right moment to officially announce the first releases. The one thing I am certain is that even without the SEGA elements, fans will embrace what they see as part of the official canon, even if it contradicts what Ian is doing, for the simple reason that whatever I do will be faithful to what has come before, if not finally outright resolve many of the questions people have asked me over the years.



#4105 Edward James Olmos

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 08:28 PM

I figured he was looking for royalties. The man's broke, there were holes in his contracts, and he would like them to pay him for making money off his old stories. I say just give it to him, slap another dollar on the sale of the graphic novels and avoid this whole mess. As for his continued Angel Island stories, eh. It's really too late for that Ken.

#4106 Legendary Aqua

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 10:55 PM

Now there is a many who seriously needs to shut the frag up. I continue to await the total teabagging he's gonna get at the hands of both Archie and SEGA.

#4107 Vampfox

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 11:21 PM

It sounds like Penders might have a little bit of a case against Archie, since it sounds like Archie might not have the right paper work.
But I'm still skeptical about him winning full ownership of his characters. Most of his copyrights are centered on story and art, not the characters themselves.

#4108 Legendary Aqua

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 01:24 AM

All of his characters are retools of existing Sonic characters. He'll NEVER be able to use them in any capacity without heavily altering the source material. Even then, only a fool would take his works as actual canon.

Oh and also:

Anyone stating that SEGA automatically owns anything and everything published in the comics clearly doesn't understand how copyright laws work.

Posted Image

Right from the latest Sonic Universe. That right there says:

SEGA, Sonic The Hedgehog, and all related characters and indica are either registered trademarks or trademarks of SEGA CORPORATION © 1991-2011. SEGA CORPORATION and SONICTEAM,LTD./SEGA CORPORATION © 1991-2011.


He might own the stories themselves, but the characters? No chance in seven hells bro.

Edited by Aquaslash, 01 April 2011 - 01:34 AM.


#4109 Vampfox

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 01:41 AM

Even then, only a fool would take his works as actual canon.

Well there are some people on his forum that will take Penders echidna fiction as canon.

Penders plans for his echidna stories makes no sense.
He can't use Angel Island.
He can't use Sonic and Knuckles.
He can use Julie-Su, Locke, Lara-Le, and Lara-Su, but without Knuckles they have no purpose.
He can use the Brotherhood of Guardians, but without Angel Island they have no reason to exist.
It makes no sense.

#4110 Legendary Aqua

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 01:46 AM

Well there are some people on his forum that will take Penders echidna fiction as canon.

Penders plans for his echidna stories makes no sense.
He can't use Angel Island.
He can't use Sonic and Knuckles.
He can use Julie-Su, Locke, Lara-Le, and Lara-Su, but without Knuckles they have no purpose.
He can use the Brotherhood of Guardians, but without Angel Island they have no reason to exist.
It makes no sense.


He can't even use those guys. SEGA will certainly see to it.

#4111 Vampfox

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 01:50 AM

Well so far Sega has not gotten involved with this case.
I asked Penders on his forum if he was worried about Sega getting involved with Archie's lawsuit, and he said he wasn't worried.
He either has an ace up his sleeve, or he's crazy.

Edited by Lostsoul666, 01 April 2011 - 02:22 AM.


#4112 Ekajra

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 06:21 PM

Well so far Sega has not gotten involved with this case.
I asked Penders on his forum if he was worried about Sega getting involved with Archie's lawsuit, and he said he wasn't worried.
He either has an ace up his sleeve, or he's crazy.


I'm gonna go with crazy.

I mean seriously Penders, must you make me hate you? I mean, I love the whole echidna society and such that he developed, and now he's just making himself look like an idiot. And it this point I think he's getting a bit delusional. A couple examples:

The one thing I am certain is that even without the SEGA elements, fans will embrace what they see as part of the official canon


Seriously? How would it possibly seem close to the canon without the SEGA elements? Consdiering they make up more or less 90-95% it really wouldn't even work. And it certainly wouldn't feel the same.

I asked Penders on his forum if he was worried about Sega getting involved with Archie's lawsuit, and he said he wasn't worried.


I am of the opinion the SEGA hasn't gotten involved because they simply don't consider him a threat. I'm fairly certain that at some point in this the SEGA Licensing people are gonna come in and basically shut-up Penders' entire argument.

#4113 Jix Hedgehog

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 11:56 PM

Easy fix to the Ixis problem (current issue 223) - Let him be king, take those who still believe in Nicole and start a new city :) If Naugus refuses to let people leave, he'll be seen as a tyrant and taken down in no time :)

I'm still not convinced St. John is a traitor :P

#4114 Kamicciolo

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 01:33 AM

Easy fix to the Ixis problem (current issue 223) - Let him be king, take those who still believe in Nicole and start a new city :) If Naugus refuses to let people leave, he'll be seen as a tyrant and taken down in no time :)

Theres the slight problem there though that Nicole is already the current city, so she'd either have to create a new city or cast out all the people who decide to follow Naugus, which certainly wouldn't put her in a good light. Even if she did create a new city for the other people her options would be to abandon the old one (leaving it open to attack) or try to maintain the both of them (which would require alot of power and resources from her). She's kinda in a bind really :P

#4115 Vampfox

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 03:52 AM

Here's the cover of vol. 1 of the "Knuckles Archives".
Posted Image

#4116 The-Master-Board

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 10:50 AM

Here's the cover of vol. 1 of the "Knuckles Archives".
Posted Image

Cool cover but not quite as nice as the "cutesy old school classic" style that I was expecting as the norm from the Archives books. Though I guess Knuckles is a MANLY man! :)

Oh and you're a big Sally fan Lostsoul666? Nice! :) Though Expect to get negative repped for that most despicable of crimes (as some lady hygiene products on here seem to believe)

Edited by The-Master-Board, 03 April 2011 - 10:51 AM.


#4117 Slashy CC14

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 01:30 PM

SWEEEEEET! Can't wait to pick it up! I love the more "still classic styled, but a tad more serious" look they're going for here. It really fits the Knuckles series well and I can't wait to see future covers. :)

#4118 Flyboy Fox

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 01:56 PM

Oh and you're a big Sally fan Lostsoul666? Nice! :) Though Expect to get negative repped for that most despicable of crimes (as some lady hygiene products on here seem to believe)


Not on my watch (; You guys should know by now that I'm a big fan of Sally, too ♥ While I'm all for intelligent debate, discussion, and the right to like OR dislike any character... any bashing on Sally-fans just for liking Sally won't be tolerated. Same for any other character, of course.

Aww, it's Knux =D Yay! Good to see his collection. I was never big on the echidna stories/spin-offs but Knux himself has all my love.

#4119 -Mark-

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 07:06 PM

Who drew that Knuckles and Julie-Su picture posted on the last page? That's... really, really bad. Posted Image

#4120 Edward James Olmos

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 07:09 PM

That long-snouted Knuckles is extremely classic looking, dunno what you guys are talking about. KtE is a great series too, pick it up guys!





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