Jump to content
Awoo.

Archie Comics and Ken Penders' Characters


zakfett92

Recommended Posts

Fellow fans of the Sonic the Hedgehog comic, I write this entry in order to make a difference in the comic’s future. As you all know, most of the fans have heard by now of the lawsuit between Ken Penders and Archie Comics over the use of his characters. Whether Ken Penders was in the right or not is not the issue however. What matters is Archie’s stance on not using his characters.

 

Like many of you, I thought that Ken Penders was to blame because he was holding his characters back. Having enjoyed the comic for years, I was devastated. Like many of you no doubt have, I grew to love the original characters he created. Sure, Ian Flynn may not have developed them as Ken would have, but at least they were still around and would probably go in the right direction eventually. But the idea of never seeing any of those characters again is intolerable. And not only would we never see them again, but the comic would act as if they, along with 20 years of Sonic mythos, never happened in the first place. Just so some of you get a proper grasp of the situation, here’s a short list of characters we’ll never see again if Archie has its way:

 

Julie-Su, Elias Acorn, any Dark Legion characters, all of Knuckles’ family, Sonic’s parents, Rob o’ the Hedge, Remington, the extended wolf pack, Saffron, Fiona Fox, Geoffrey and Hershey St. John, Lara-Su

 

Not willing to let this stand, I went directly to Ken Penders to try to get him to loosen his grip on his characters. The results of our conversation you can read below:

 

Dear Mr. Penders,

 Hello, Mr. Penders. My name is Zachary Kaplan. I've been reading the Sonic comics ever since the age of ten and am a huge fan. Or at least, I was. Which brings me to why I'm writing this email. At the expense of possibly sounding rude, I must speak my mind because I feel it's the right thing to do.

 I want to know what the hell you think you're doing. Because of this whole lawsuit business, we'll never see any of the characters you made in the comic again. No Dark Legion, no Elias, no Geoffrey, NO JULIE-SU!!!!!!!!! My God, you took away Knuckles' and Sonic's parents, for crying out loud!!! How are they supposed to explain that. And to top it all off, you've now rendered over 15 years of story meaningless because now they have to act like those characters never existed. Why should any of us old fans keep reading now that everything we've come to love has been destroyed?

 And for what?

 Because you wanted more money? Because you couldn't just let your characters go? Was that really all that mattered to you? Even if you did create them, I don't see how that gives you the right to just steal them back out of the blue. These characters have had such an impact on the comic that they've outgrown belonging to any one person, even their creator. If Walt Disney was around today and he decided to leave the business, do you think he would try to take Mickey Mouse with him?

 And before you start talking about your "Lara-Su Chronicles", save it. I don't care about that, and neither does anyone else. And if you think its gonna be a big success, you're only fooling yourself; which you'd know if you bothered listening to the fans. Even if people did read it, they wouldn't see new characters with new original stories. All they would see is old Sonic characters that were taken from them and are now being recycled by someone who doesn't know any better.

 That's pretty much all I've got to say on the subject. The comic is in ruins and we'll never see your characters in a "proper" comic again, and from where I'm standing it's all your fault. I don't know what has to be done to make you give your characters back, but I strongly suggest you figure out what if saving the comic means anything to you. There has to be some sentimentality under your money-grubbing exterior; and I sincerely hope you find it before it's too late.

 Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
Zachary Kaplan

 

Zachary,

 

Let's imagine you're someone who grew up wanting to be a writer, an artist, a musician, a filmmaker, whatever. You took courses to learn what you needed in order to become someone who could make a living doing what you love. Now imagine doing that work for a number of years and seeing others get money for the work instead of you. You wouldn't like it and that's what essentially happened here. If Archie and/or Sega had paid even a small amount in royalties, none of what happened would have happened.

 

But companies aren't like that in this day and age. More often than not, it's the people at the top of the food chain who benefit the most at the expense of those who actually did the work and brought value to the companies simply because they can. And the only way the people who actually do the work can correct the situation is if they fight back in some manner, whether it be a strike or some legal action.

 

As you may know, Archie and I have resolved our differences, and as a result, they are able to use my characters. However, THEY choose NOT to. Why? That's not for me to speculate as that's an internal business decision and their right.

 

As for those stories and characters you grew up on, you'll always have those, just as I have the stories I grew up on. However, as I have learned over the years, especially so during the past decade, even the characters I grew up on have changed much as the SONIC book as changed on you. So the new STAR TREK is nothing like the original to me. And yes, in a way, I'm sad over that. But I still have the original Trek stories I grew up on and no one can take those away from me.

 

In all honesty, the book was never going to develop the library of characters I created anyway, so readers were really never going to experience their true potential unless someone did something with them.

 

Archie had a chance to resolve the situation many times where they would have control over these characters, yet ended up not doing so for whatever reason. I was able to reclaim my characters under current copyright laws, and now intend to feature the characters as they should have been shown.

 

If you really love the characters, you may end up surprising yourself checking out THE LARA-SU CHRONICLES. If you still feel the characters belong in SONIC and nowhere else, I understand and wish you well. Take care.

 

Best,

Ken Penders

 

 

Dear Mr. Penders,

 I think apologies are in order; my apologies, that is. It appears that due to how distraught I was over this whole matter, and a certain amount of misinformation, I ended up getting angry at the wrong person. Instead of lashing out at you, I should have been doing it at Archie. I'm sorry if I seemed rude. I was simply doing what I felt was right. I had thought that if you were the one holding the characters back, I might be able to guilt you into letting them go. Looks like I have another email to send; this one aimed at the right target. Though the idea of guilting an entire company into using your characters does seem a much harder task. But, for the sake how much the comic means to myself, and others, I feel that I have to try. The idea of Sonic the Hedgehog, not only without your characters, but acting as if they never existed, is intolerable. I really don't know how they expect to pull it off. Hell, after all this chaos, Knuckles has, in one fell swoop, been rendered:

1) parentless
2) girlfriendless
3) future daughterless
4) speciesless

I think the only echidna characters besides him that you didn't create are Dr. Finitevas and maybe Grandfather Athair. And there were many other main characters who lost family members due to this debacle. Sonic lost both his parents; Sally lost her mother and brother (and in turn Mobius lost it's true king); and Antoine lost his father (I mean, he had died, but now it's like he never existed).

 And I do understand what you mean about wanting to get paid for your work. I hope to write fantasy books and would want to get proper payment for it too. My problem was that I thought you were sitting back watching the comic implode for the sake of a few bucks. I was wrong, it seems. I will say that I don't think you're right about how they're not your characters anymore because of the way they changed. After all, everyone changes with time; so, if anything, it made your characters more dynamic and real. Though I will admit I was a bit pissed off when they made Geoffrey a traitor and Naugus' apprentice. But, they did make it seem that he regretted it later on. Unfortunately we'll never know how that would have played out unless either myself or someone better than I can make Archie change it's mind. Who knows, perhaps I'll need your help in order to make that happen.

 As to the Lara-Su chronicles, maybe it will work out, but I don't think I'll get involved. I'd just keep thinking of who the characters used to be rather than how you portrayed them now. And I think others will as well. After all, how are you gonna have Lara-Su without Knuckles as her dad? It just wouldn't feel right.

Anyway, thank you again for your time and, again, I apologize. Now it looks like I have someone else to fight the good fight against. As the blue blur himself would say, "Let's do it to it".

Sincerely,
Zachary Kaplan

 

Zachary,

 

Apologies accepted, but I was not mad or upset by your e-mail. I fully understood where you were coming from, and I'm fully aware of how much misinformation is out there on the internet.

 

I'll tell you what. I don't expect fans to embrace THE LARA-SU CHRONICLES when they love things the way they are or don't think it's possible because I can't use Knuckles. That's why I'm releasing the opening segment online when it's ready for free, just so those longtime fans can see how the story moves forward where MOBIUS: 25 YEARS LATER left off in SONIC #144.

 

I'm willing to bet that if those fans who loved those characters and enjoyed that story are going to be in for a pleasant surprise. The major difference is that I know these characters, I know this story and I know what the fans expect. I believe if I more than meet them halfway, they'll give me a chance.

 

As for the big concern about contradicting what happens in the comic, that's not my focus, and if anything, I made the story so the fans don't feel like they wasted time with either version. It's all good.

 

On a more realistic note, I wish you well in your efforts with Archie, but I've already been approached by fans who even wanted to start a Kickstarter fund to license my characters, which I provided my terms which they thought were more than fair, yet to date as far as I know, neither Archie or Sega has responded to their efforts. It's going to take a lot of you to change their minds into doing something they don't want to do.

 

In the meantime, I wish you well. Take care.

 

Best,

Ken Penders

 

 

So, my fellow Sonic comic fans, the truth is that Ken Penders is not the one responsible for the characters not being in the comic anymore. It is the fault of Archie comics itself. They have full rights to use these characters, yet have refused to do so. Seeing as how Ken’s characters were one of the best things about the comic, I don’t see how they feel they can pull this off.

 

My only question is will we let them.

 

As I’ve said, the idea of this comic without these characters is intolerable. And I imagine many, if not all, of you feel the same as I do. And I say that if you feel as I do, we can fight this. I’ll admit, it won’t be easy, and we probably won’t see any immediate results, but we can fight this. We can flood Archie with emails and letters letting them know we won’t stand for this. If any of you are video-makers on Youtube or elsewhere, you can spread this news that way. I will personally be sending this message to all the Sonic sites I can in order to get the message out. However, I strongly suggest that anyone who sends Archie messages keep the cursing down to the minimum. We don’t want to lose credibility due to what may be considered a lack of civility.

 

Again, I implore you; if you love this comic and love Ken’s characters, don’t let this pass. If we can get Archie to change its mind, we can ensure the last 20 years of comics were not for nothing. If necessary, they can reboot the reboot. After all, the Genesis wave has already been used twice already. You know what they say, “three’s the charm”. So please, don’t let Archie win. Because if this continues, I see only ruin for the comic’s future. So please, fight for Ken’s characters. Fight Archie. And pray to the Almight we win.

 

Zachary Kaplan

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry to be the guy that has to bring reality to light, but the Archie Sonic comics aren't turning back on the reboot. There were far too many hurdles to go through with using Ken's characters to begin with once he started making legal things happen, and that's why the reboot happened during the court case in the first place.

 

Ian's already putting together his future plans for the old continuity and releasing them online for anyone and everyone to read through, and already written quite a bit of the new continuity out (as far as I'm aware) because it is the absolute final decision that the comic will be continuing like this.

 

I'm kind of not sure what else there is to say? There's been dozens of people trying to do the same thing as you, but the new continuity just isn't shifting. The old continuity is really not going to go anywhere as long as you and everyone else remember it, as well as the fact the plans for it directly from the writer are released and anyone would be free to try a Sonic the Comic Online kind of unofficially official continuation of it.

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The reboot was the greatest thing to happen to the comic in years. Prove me wrong with science.

How about the part where it jacked up 20 years of the comic's history that other people were enjoying, leaving dangling plots in the process? Enough science for you?

 

Yeah, not so much the greatest thing than it was a necessary evil.

  • Thumbs Up 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry, but when Penders says "the comic was never going to develop my library of characters anyway..." Um, they were up until these characters had to be removed due to the legal issues. What he should've said is "I don't like people playing with my toys." Which is why this crap started in the first place. He took action because Chronicles loosely (if not outright) based its own Echidna lore on the groundwork laid in the comics, with a slightly more SEGA!Sonic vibe. This is a man who sincerely believes Tikal and the Knuckles Clan are infringements on his ideas. This is a man who believes "Evil Sonic" can stand as a wholly original character. This is a man who goes on about how original his ideas are, yet continues to do whatever he can to ride the franchise's coattails (using Mobius, Acorn, etc.).
 
Sorry, he may be a nice guy, but let's not pretend he's an innocent party in the grand scheme of things. Archie isn't either. Comic book companies are notorious for this, and their treatment of creators is what gave rise to more creator owned work and publishers like Image (where Penders failed to make a splash with "The Lost Ones," by the way--at least he got to keep his rights to that). However, if you created something wholly original for a place like DC/Marvel/Archie/etc. (as per the recent case of Gary Friedrich), you deserve to have your rights acknowledged. But, Lara-Su and the rest of them are all derivative of Sonic and his world (most of them literally look like Sonic and friends in different clothes/hairstyles), so I find it really difficult to get behind this sort of thing.
 
I'm sorry, but I just can't buy into what he says looking at everything that's happened. It would be nice if he and Archie could've found a way to play ball, but let's not pretend things are so black and white. The man, who is so sure of his creative ability, could have already been working on something more interesting than a "totally not Sonic the Hedgehog comic because I don't own SEGA characters." His recent script teaser sort of shows that he may as well have done that from the start. It was truly never going to be what he intended, even if he did win.

 

As I said in the main Archie topic; the book's old continuity got a mercy killing, and there's no turning back at this point. I'm going to enjoy the new continuity for what it is, even if I don't like why it had to happen.

 

 

The reboot was the greatest thing to happen to the comic in years. Prove me wrong with science.

 

Opinion=/=Fact. Kthxbye.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The reboot was the greatest thing to happen to the comic in years. Prove me wrong with science.

Your claim is hardly scientific either. It's just a subjective statement with nothing to back it up. It's also really inconsiderate to those who miss the old continuity, but that's beside the point. Would you mind providing evidence that these changes did nothing but improve the comic's quality?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was actually being facetious, but everyone took me seriously, so.

 

Yeah don't worry, I understood that, lol.

 

It was necessary and I kinda saw it coming but I am a bit miffed at how it was done and what was lost with it. Oh well, no point dwelling on the past.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most big companies have a "we own your soul" Policy when it comes to creative work. If you create anything during your time with them, they own it. You have even less of a leg to stand on if you apply these ideas that actually get published/created for that company. Most artists/writers may not agree 100% with this, but the majority accept this, as it still means they get to work for a famous company.

 

I agree everyone should have rights to their own work, but Pender's wrote and created for the Sonic comic. As far as I see it, any characters of storyline he created that got published are the rights of Archie now. If he wanted to keep the rights of his characters to himself, he shouldn't have used them at all. That's just common sense when working in the industry. To try and claim rights to characters that were created for the Sonic universe, something that is owned by another company, just boggles the mind.

 

I'm sure most creative minds would have just shrugged about the idea of their characters being used after their departure. At least their mark on the series would continue on into the future for a long, long time. That sort of legacy most people can only dream of! As an artist/writer myself, I would feel privileged to know even when I've moved on from the company, they are still using my character and it is still loved by thousands of people across the world. All Penders has done is caused his characters to be wiped from the series and eventually, his name will be lost in time to the new wave of Archie Sonic readers.

 

Personally I am really liking the reboot so far. I missed a lot of the early stories, so some of the stories didn't make all that much sense to me. There's a few characters I miss, but having something fresh and closer to the games is something to be excited about. I know there are a lot of people hating the reboot, but at the end of the day, you can't please everyone.

  • Thumbs Up 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I still dislike penders for this bull he caused, but hey, forgive & forget, & live & learn.  I still don't think Penders should own the Echidna characters(If you put lipstick & makeup on a duck, it's an abomination, but still a duck. Knuckles is Sega's duck. Penders just made copies of that same duck), but it doesn't matter what any of us think right now.

 

l miss alot of characters, especially Lien-Da, Julie-Su, Elias, & Scourge & the Suppression Squad minus Fiona(How the flying frick he owns the right to "evil SONIC" is beyond me, because again, duck) but I'm actually enjoying the reboot alot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, most people have moved on, and a lot of others are enjoying the soft reboot that has happened. With new characters coming there will be even more that gain new favorites and slowly forget their upset over the old cast being M.I.A.

As was beautifully said earlier all Penders has done is lose his legacy in the comics and make a LOT of enemies, in his industry and the fans of the comic.

If he was half as creative as he says he is, he would have moved on himself and created something bigger and better with new characters and not felt the need to piggyback off the Sonic franchise and use characters that are derivatives of licensed material. After reading the scripts out of curiousity more than anything else there is really no need to have the characters he wasted so much time and money to secure. The story has obviously had all Sega ties that were concretely licensed and copyrighted removed and replaced, it's not official Sega or Sonic, its so loose in connection without his say so that he could easily have just created the whole thing anew and said in the blurb that it's based on stories he started in Archie Sonic but a whole new universe, much like what Archie have done to remove his content from our favorite comic.

So yeah, your kinda preaching to the wrong forum (with the exception of a few people that really can't seem to let go) if you want support for him or his characters if it means he gets even more out of the whole fiasco than he already did. I don't blame Archie at all for not wanting to touch his stuff after all this. Regardless of who started it etc he still bit the hand that fed him. And we all know what that saying is used for.

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kinda hard not to take it seriously considering those were your genuine thoughts about it in the Archie topic.

 

But he said prove to him with science. Do you think he expected you to bust out the junior lab chemset and steal a lock of Pender's hair for the dastardly experiment?

 

Just a straight observation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But he said prove to him with science. Do you think he expected you to bust out the junior lab chemset and steal a lock of Pender's hair for the dastardly experiment?

 

Just a straight observation.

I wouldn't really care what he was expecting.

 

For all I assumed he was rubbing it in other's faces over it like he did once before having said the reboot was the greatest thing to him, so it didn't look like he was joking around.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't really care what he was expecting.

 

For all I assumed he was rubbing it in other's faces over it like he did once before having said the reboot was the greatest thing to him, so it didn't look like he was joking around.

 

Man, it's one thing to say it's the greatest thing in the world, it's another to sound ridiculous to the point it doesn't seem serious while your at it. I think maybe the conversation has hurt some communication thus far considering your previous experiences. Because from a fairly outside party, it sounded like a joke. Maybe you could take it easy for a bit from this topic, because assumptions just going to turn every conversation into a flamefest. 

 

I'm not sure why I'm saying this, maybe just because I want some peace, but I'm no mod, so I should back off now. Sorry for the back seating. 

 

(There was no sarcasm, or joking in this paragraph. Just me making an observation.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Man, it's one thing to say it's the greatest thing in the world, it's another to sound ridiculous to the point it doesn't seem serious while your at it. I think maybe the conversation has hurt some communication thus far considering your previous experiences. Because from a fairly outside party, it sounded like a joke. Maybe you could take it easy for a bit from this topic, because assumptions just going to turn every conversation into a flamefest. 

You're kinda provoking it a bit yourself, considering I'm not even angry.

 

He already made it clear he was joking, so I don't really see a flamefest brewing unless someone keeps poking at it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are some that think it IS the greatest thing to happen to the comic in forever. There are others that think its horrible and a great loss. And others still that couldn't care less either way as long as the comic still lives.

Opinions differ, but the ONLY way an opinion causes harm is if the person on the opposing side LETS it hurt them or wind them up. You have no one to blame for your anger or hurt but yourself and your own feelings and emotions on the subject. It's entirely possible to have a two sided debate without either side getting whipped into a frenzy or starting verbal retorts of the nasty variety.

Let's all hug and make up and get back to talking about Penders and his repercussions on the comics, good or bad! Pretty please with chili dogs on top!! :)

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are some that think it IS the greatest thing to happen to the comic in forever. There are others that think its horrible and a great loss. And others still that couldn't care less either way as long as the comic still lives.

Opinions differ, but the ONLY way an opinion causes harm is if the person on the opposing side LETS it hurt them or wind them up. You have no one to blame for your anger or hurt but yourself and your own feelings and emotions on the subject. It's entirely possible to have a two sided debate without either side getting whipped into a frenzy or starting verbal retorts of the nasty variety.

Did I clearly not just say I wasn't angry, or did people miss that part?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did I clearly not just say I wasn't angry, or did people miss that part?

Much like my post being directed to and relating to everyone not just a single person. Some things are hard to see first read. If my post didn't apply or the advice doesn't work for you then feel free to ignore it, it's your right :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Much like my post being directed to and relating to everyone not just a single person. Some things are hard to see first read. If my post didn't apply or the advice doesn't work for you then feel free to ignore it, it's your right smile.png

Well there were only two people discussing rising tensions, and I was talking about not being angry, so it sounded like you were referring to me.

 

But no biggie...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

You must read and accept our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to continue using this website. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.