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The Lara-Su Chronicles and Ken Penders topic - READ PAGE 164, POST 4096

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OH DEAR LORD WHY

 

The Lara-Su Chronicles is an upcoming graphic novel starring... well, Lara-Su (and a whole load of other characters from pre-Collide Archie Sonic), written by former Archie writer/artist/inker/telephone sanitizer Ken Penders. As you will no doubt be aware, this all came about because of a variety of factors (the long and short of it is that Penders claimed copyright to characters he made during his tenure on Sonic, Archie sued and after a long sitcom-esque lawsuit, Penders now owns those characters and Archie must pay royalties if they are to use them).

 

And, as I'm sure many of you are ALSO aware, this thing is set to be a trainwreck in the making for many reasons:

  • Look at that picture up top again. No, wait, don't - save your eyeballs the pain and take my word for it that Penders cannot draw Sonic characters for shit.
  • His tenure on the comic mostly turned it into a generic furry drama comic, causing so much shit most of Ian's first year on the comic was spent cleaning it up. If this applies here...
  • The sheer balls of it - rather than make his story using original characters/settings (or expies of said characters, like Alan Moore did for Watchmen), he decides to take back characters that are effectively clones of Knuckles (a character owned by Sega, and ergo Lara-Su and the gang should logically be Sega's property too*) and lose points in many people's eyes not just for looking like he's pining for his one claim to fame, but also effectively giving fans of his characters the finger by making it so that they will never see their favourites again in Archie thanks to him.

 

Hell, his Twitter is a goldmine for hilarity too: Kingdom of Acorn patches and spelling echidna like it's a fucking Avatar term anyone?

 

So yeah, discuss all things related to this sad masterpiece-of-shit here!

 

* Oh, and Scourge is his too. Yeah, the green recolour of Sonic who was literally once an exact clone of Sonic named "Evil Sonic" is his.

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I just have to laugh at Kens stupidity and every morning I look at his twitter page as it puts me in a good mood with his comical comments.

With each new comment he says the more I believe he's digging himself a hole. He wants to link it with the older series but will be completely restricted by not being allowed to use Sonic and co.

I'm actually shocked there are people who are aupporting him still.

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Imagine if this reboot also would remove SatAM chars, if Ian and crew hadn't fought to keep them there (Which I think was one of the reasons for their redesigns; correct me if I'm wrong). Penders would be considered a hero to the anti-SatAM fans, especially the Sally-haters.

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Imagine if this reboot also would remove SatAM chars, if Ian and crew hadn't fought to keep them there (Which I think was one of the reasons for their redesigns; correct me if I'm wrong). Penders would be considered a hero to the anti-SatAM fans, especially the Sally-haters.

 

Saying as I loathed Julie-Su and still don't view Penders as a hero, I kinda doubt that.

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What caused him to just decide to leave and take the characters? Was he not happy (I assume) with how things were going?

The short version is that SEGA/Bioware loosely borrowed concepts of the Dark Legion for the Nocturnus Clan in Chronicles. I'm guessing the similarities were too close for his liking and counted as infringement on what he believed was his own intellectual property, despite all being created as a work-for-hire on a licensed book, so he sued SEGA/EA and filed for copyrights for his characters and stories (he doesn't appear to own the stories though, as Archie can still reprint them). Archie sued him to try to stop him, and things just didn't work out (due mostly to the sudden lack of a contract).

 

So the cases were dismissed and he somehow got to keep his characters. He did say Archie could use them still, but they've obviously chosen to walk away from them, presumably because they'd have to pay to use them in new material (reprints are fine, but any new material created to accompany those reprints, such as new covers, etc. aren't). And to think this was all for want of a contract... as far as I know, though, since these cases were thrown out, he didn't actually win any money from either SEGA/EA or Archie.

I may be glossing over some of the details (and I'm trying very hard to rein in my vitriol for the situation), but this was going on for a good long while, so I probably forgot something (someone with a little more knowledge on the subject is welcome to pitch in/correct me), but my understanding is that this all started because of supposed infringement in Chronicles. As I haven't played Chronicles, I can't vouch for how true that is, but most people seem to think the Nocturnus are unique/different enough from the Dark Legion despite being inspired by them. Which is kind of funny considering Penders would copy concepts almost wholesale from various sci-fi media and shoehorn it into the Sonic comics (not to mention this little gem), but he believes that's different. It's still hard to look at this as a victory for creators' rights considering.

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So this topic is clearly a pre-emptive moment to wait and see if this will crash and burn.

 

I'm really wondering how this will be looked at, because I want to see just how much all of this nonsense was worth after so long. We already know how we're going to act, but the question is how will those outside the fandom look at this? Or is the potential outside perception already colored by the fans, making the reception equally as obvious as ours?

 

Really, how is the reception to this going outside the fandom?

Imagine if this reboot also would remove SatAM chars, if Ian and crew hadn't fought to keep them there (Which I think was one of the reasons for their redesigns; correct me if I'm wrong). Penders would be considered a hero to the anti-SatAM fans, especially the Sally-haters.

Yeah, that would never have happened considering that Sega owned the SatAM cast long before the first issue of Archie Sonic.

 

The main reason for their redesigns was to fit more with the Sonic characters. It would make no sense to change there designs because someone was going to take them away when they're essentially the exact same characters under a new coat of paint.

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Just when you think it can't get worse...

 

I knew Ken was an idiot, but...wow...I have no words...

 

Just keep diggin' that hole there, Penders.

 

In all honestly, I do own that issue, but since I was probably about 10 or 11 when it was published and haven't re-read any of that material in well over a decade, I never knew about the poem up until it was brought up recently. What disgusts me about it more than anything is Penders's nonchalant attitude and piss-poor justifications as well as his defending an act of plagiarism. And then there's his complete lack of understanding why someone might find this use offensive, claiming "well, nobody complained back then." Which I'm honestly having a hard time believing since Archie did field complaints from parents who were offended by the TMNT exploring other cultures and religions in a smart, tasteful way back in the day, it wouldn't surprise me if someone did complain about this instance in the Knuckles book and Penders just brushed it off because he heard someone somewhere liked it (never mind most of us were kids and likely wouldn't have known at the time).

 

 

So this topic is clearly a pre-emptive moment to wait and see if this will crash and burn.

 

I'm really wondering how this will be looked at, because I want to see just how much all of this nonsense was worth after so long. We already know how we're going to act, but the question is how will those outside the fandom look at this? Or is the potential outside perception already colored by the fans, making the reception equally as obvious as ours?

 

Really, how is the reception to this going outside the fandom?

 

I'd sorta like to know this too, since looking up Ken Penders doesn't turn up much that's particularly warm and fuzzy. Articles about the court cases alone just make the whole thing seem stupid (because it is) and then there's plenty of vitriol being leveled towards the man outside his own forum.

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Which I'm honestly having a hard time believing since Archie did field complaints from parents who were offended by the TMNT exploring other cultures and religions in a smart, tasteful way back in the day, it wouldn't surprise me if someone did complain about this instance in the Knuckles book and Penders just brushed it off because he heard someone somewhere liked it (never mind most of us were kids and likely wouldn't have known at the time).

Holy shit, the amount of insular and down-right pitiful view of those comments back then make me want strangle people. It didn't make up the whole audience, but still it's annoying to see such enthnocentricism over a work of fiction even back then.

 

Goes to show that the 90s weren't perfect, but goddamn did this enlighten me on how much things have changed since.

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I think it was around the 100th mark where he wrote something where he compared the Archie Sonic stories to the Star Wars trilogy and how that was a big inspiration to him in the direction he was taking the series. It was during this moment when I sort of knew this man wanted to write something else than talking hedgehogs and echidnas.

Ah, I remember what you're talking about. That was then-editor Justin Gabrie, who I think is largely to blame for the book's downturn in quality of the stories after the Ixis Naugus/World Tour arc (which wasn't amazing, but some of the better post-End Game material). He was the one that seemed to encourage that direction and I imagine he was pretty hands off with the writers/creators at the time, and SEGA had a similar attitude around then, so it's not surprising Penders and Bollers (Penders especially) took advantage to write whatever lousy superhero/sci-fi story they wanted and then add Sonic and Knuckles to the script so they could get paid. When SEGA started cracking down, most likely after Sonic '06's failure, and wanted to do some damage control for the brand, Penders left because he didn't like SEGA telling him what he can and can't do with their property. I think Bollers was gone by then, but I'm not sure exactly when he left or why (I hear it supposedly had to do with creative differences between him and Penders, but I don't know how true that is).

 

But, indeed, it's too late for the man's career at this point. I've said my piece, but it genuinely saddens me that he more than likely ended (or at the least severely damaged) his career over something so incredibly stupid.

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Well, here is another thing to think about: Of course he is hangin on to the lara-su chronicles like a leaky life raft, I mean after this spectacle what comic book company in their right mind would ever risk hiring him, both in relation to skill, infamy, and reputation? I mean he has more or less made himself taboo a Pariah in the comic industry

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Well, here is another thing to think about: Of course he is hangin on to the lara-su chronicles like a leaky life raft, I mean after this spectacle what comic book company in their right mind would ever risk hiring him, both in relation to skill, infamy, and reputation? I mean he has more or less made himself taboo a Pariah in the comic industry

 

*shrug* He could always get work as an inker or some sort of position that keeps him from doing anything other than getting a book delivered on time, but even then, I wouldn't trust this man with a sheet of bristol board.

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A little off-topic, but how did Penders come to get his job as an Archie writer?

 

According to this TSS interview from a few years ago, through connections. Former collaborater Mike Kanterovich (who was contacted by then editor Paul Castigila to write for Sonic back in the day) reached out to Penders at a convention as Penders was familiar with Sonic. Kanterovich and Penders both wrote quite a few stories together in the early days of the comic, including the first appearances of Evil Sonic and the first appearance of Knuckles.

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...Huh. I hadn't guessed that.

 

I was just wondering because, as an uneven writer even on his best days, Penders would never really appear to me an ideal head writer. If we're being lenient, I could see hiring him to draw a few issues in his old style, but I've not seen any sign that he's one to carry the show.

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According to this TSS interview from a few years ago, through connections. Former collaborater Mike Kanterovich (who was contacted by then editor Paul Castigila to write for Sonic back in the day) reached out to Penders at a convention as Penders was familiar with Sonic. Kanterovich and Penders both wrote quite a few stories together in the early days of the comic, including the first appearances of Evil Sonic and the first appearance of Knuckles.

 

I forgot that someone transcribed my interview with him. (LOL I like how he keeps my "Umm's" and "Uh's" XD) That was a really good interview (for me. I've done some horrible ones). What disturbed me was the comment that if he came on board, he'd start right where he left off and ignore what's happened since he left. He once told me that he only considers his work canon and gave me an example that he also considers Stan Lee and Kirby's work on Fantastic Four canon  and anything after that doesn't matter. That's a horrible to think of a comic book that's a collaborative effort.

 

It's sad that it's come to this now because I think a good chunk of the early success of the book was due to him. I've been reading the legacy series and one of his first works Sonic #27-28 was actually a really good story that had a very SATAM feel to it. I think it's his love of the Knuckles world he created and had so much free reign on that was his downfall. He couldn't let it go. Even after the series was cancelled, he kept trying to write more echidna stories in the back of the comic but kids don't care about that. They want more Sonic. I think doing the second 25 years later is what finally did him in. 

 

I think if the Knuckles series never existed, he might still be on the book. Then again, this is the same guy who reportedly wouldn't read issues he didn't write including when Bollers was writing every other issue. You can't keep good continuity doing that.

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