Jump to content
Spin Attaxx

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

Recommended Posts

If I was trying to make the Lara-Su Chronicles more appealing? 

 

I think I'm going to echo what Verb & Noun said and try to make Lara-Su less of a Mary Sue. 

 

The first thing I think Pen should do if he really wants his stories to work is really work with his main character. Make her interesting and likable. 

 

 

ABILITIES: High Intellect,quick reflexes,mastered unarmed combat taught by her father,proficient with a dagon,knows a dozen different languages spoken on Mobius as a result of extensive travel with her parents

 

Yeah, I'm not really seeing anything that interesting or thought out. Basically what Ken is saying is that Lara-Su is smart,fast,strong,and is good with weapons. I'm not seeing anything that really balances her out.

 

This is emphasized in one of the later paragraphs in the profile that says that she had the capacity to use weapons and learn a lot at her young age, and at the age of 5, Lara had 10th grade reading and math skills and could hunt anyone down with a dagon. 

 

You know, I don't mind if someone is smart and strong, but Penders seems hell-bent on making everything Lara-Su do PERFECT. This is not healthy. 

 

First thing to do is to get rid or change some of the abilities. She should either be really good with a Dagon and physically really weak, or the other way around. Maybe she's really good at combat but can't take too many hits back or something. 

 

Also, maybe her high intellect could be more "selective". Maybe she seems pretty smart, but when something bad happens she has a brainfart and kinda freaks out or something. What I mean is maybe she's a bit more book smart and less street smart. 

 

She could be simple minded. Maybe she is smart in the classroom but she doesn't think very much on the battlefield, and will almost shoot anything in sight, and one story could be about her getting control or something. 

 

All of those flaws I just said are pretty generic, but it seems that's more than we'll get in the book. 

 

Also, Penders could work at fleshing out her personality. She doesn't really have much of a personality right now, but Pen with some though could fix that. 

He said in the ability part that she travels a lot, so maybe she would always feel like a loner or something as she was probably always leaving friends. 

 

I don't know, just something!!

 

Also, Verb said that this should be removed from Sonic entirely, which I completely agree with. It's just tiring having to see these people look so Sonic-like and for Mobius to be referenced and all this stuff. I think this story could really blossom and become something bizarre but cool when it's not being tied down by some series that practically completely different now. 

 

After those two things are done, then start working on the script. Give it time and don't be constantly talking about your releases. The scripts I think Penders can be somewhat fine with if he has a co-writer, and they can bounce ideas around. Keep the good ideas and toss the shitty ones. I know this sounds incredibly basic, but it can really help someone like Penders. When you balance out these ideas, there should really be a balance between talking and action.An the talking really needs to be modified. There needs to be less technobabble and the things discussed should be more appealing to kids. I'm not saying really dumb it down, but maybe even changing a few words or phrases could help. Make the talking parts almost as exciting as the action ones.

 

I think the last thing that should be dealt with is the artwork. Working on your characters and making good stories I think is much more important than flashy artwork right now. Save it till last, and I think the art could benefit if it looked different from Sonic. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How to make the Lara-Su Chronicles appealing, hmmm...

 

Well first of all the artwork would need a MAJOR overhaul because as it is now, it's ugly as hell. Then you need to make characters like Lara-Su more appealing and less of a Mary-Sue type. Also get rid of characters like K'nox (yuck) who is just too close to Sega Knuckles in appearance and possibly even personality.

 

Hell, scrap the current design for the Echid'nya race altogether because it's too similar to Sega echidna designs even with all the extra changes Penders tried to make! The loincloths, their tall height, the ugly old pug faces...none of these hides the fact that they still look like the Archie comic characters and even make reference to it from time to time. This should be its own thing instead of relying on the comics that Penders worked on, in fact I thought it was going to be that in the first place when he made all that effort to get those characters back! But no! Now he's making it seem like an unofficial spin off of the Archie comics. To me, that's lazy, uninspired and incredibly stupid.

 

I just want this fecking comic to come out already...didn't Penders say he going to release it during SDCC?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pen having a co-writer would help I think with the stiffness of the dialogue. I know he said that the dialogue is like that because English is not their language and translations don't cover nuance.

 

It indicates that the text itself is being translated from their actual language (and that is why it's so stiff and unnatural), which it is not. It could be an interesting literary device but then it'd have to be handled with care to inform the reader that this is what is going on- and not after the fact comment in the back of the book like what he did with Lost Ones and the Japanese text found throughout the book. Another issue with it is I just don't believe that's the reason why the dialogue is like that- it's been a consistent problem throughout his career, including Sonic, Knuckles, and Lost Ones.

 

Having another writer to balance out fluidity of speech and mannerisms would help significantly to make things more organic.

 

 

Here's another thought- We've talked before about Pen and Kickstarter. Pen has made it obvious that he wasn't really considering Kickstarter because he was worried about the rewards. But what about Patreon, since that's come up recently? It, like Kickstarter, would allow fans to support him and his work and would also allow an area for him to easily communicate with said fans, which could allow for some very important critique and the like. And while Patreons also usually have rewards, they're not usually as 'big' as those found on Kickstarters- just showing behind the scene world building is enough of a reward in many cases, or he can mail out some of those badges and prints he already has.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well. He seems to really be off on a rant about Sonic X.

 

Failure can be subjective. I'm certain many fans thought SONIC X was a success. I can assure you that SEGA did not.

 

https://twitter.com/KenPenders/status/605878046252343297

 

Had sales not increased, the original SONIC comic would've been cancelled by issue 50.

 

https://twitter.com/KenPenders/status/606106403602767872

 

Now then. Now that I've calmed down after his tweet yesterday. I'm feeling ready to analyse this. 

 

Starting off, I don't understand why he's so desperate to claim that Sonic X was a total failure and that he somehow has some kind of insider Sega knowledge that it was a total failure in their eyes. That goes against all the presented facts. I.E: Sonic X got a entire third season because it was so popular. 

 

There's no misinterpreting it. If Sonic X really was a failure then there would be no way it would have gotten a third season. Why would Sega blow more money to make an additional season to a show that wasn't meant to get it if it was a failure in Sega's eyes? That's not to mention that the X comic lasted longer than the Knuckles comic, and it even outlasted the anime, and did well in sales. Again, how is this a failure? 

 

That's not to mention the fact that there is no possible way that he can ''assure'' that the Sonic X series wasn't a success in Sega's eyes? The only time we know of him interacting with Sega is when he tried to pitch the Sonic movies. I'm pretty sure Sega wouldn't randomly decide to go to a comic writer and tell him and only him alone the status of Sonic X and how successful it is when Penders didn't have anything to do with Sonic X and Sega considers the comic a very small blimp on their radar.

 

Where was the real SONIC X video game produced by SEGA?

 

https://twitter.com/KenPenders/status/605923668967833600

 

Again, I don't see what this has to do with anything. Having a game doesn't indicate success, and even if he wanted to try go down that route, that logic can be used against him. Where's the Sega developed game based on Archie Sonic? Where's the Sega developed game based on Archie Knuckles? 

 

As for this tweet:

 

Had sales not increased, the original SONIC comic would've been cancelled by issue 50.

 

This contradicts what he previously said. Where he claimed that the reason they thought the comic was being cancelled was due to SatAM's cancellation. Not because of sales.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Patreons do not even have to have reward tiers at all. Some creators feel that it's putting things behind an extra paywall. I know that the Jimquisition's Patreon doesn't, so he wouldn't even be all that unusual. It would be a far more productive manner to earn funds without taking time away from working on the actual book (And really, the prologue comic should be worked on AFTER the main book is done, but maybe that's just my opinion.)

 

The Sonic X comic did not, if I recall (can't find the source anymore), actually get cancelled. It sold reasonably, but was naturally ended to "make room" for Sonic Universe (Archie can only feasibly publish so many titles at once, depending upon sales). The last issue even tied into the first of Universe. Directly. There's a difference between a book ending, like X, and a book being pulled, like Knuckles was. Food for thought.

 

I consider things like "oh, they're using translators, they can't get nuance" as a flat-out excuse for shoddy writing and bad dialogue. Consider Mass Effect. Every species there speaks their own language(s) and occassionally we get a word or phrase or two (keelah se'lai is an example of a plot-significant one). But, the dialogue we get? English, and much better written, with turns of phrase, slang, dialect, and so forth extremely clear to Shepard/the player. Most Krogan are distinct from most Turians or Quarians, most Asari are distinct from Geth or Hanar or Vorcha. Yet, even then, there are characters with distinct voices from the rest of their race (there's an Asari, for example, whose dialogue has a bit of a Krogan feel to it, due to her father being one).

 

Not that I expect every science fiction story to have such a wide range of voice. Mass Effect had/has a whole crew working on it, with probably several writers with different focuses. But, Penders has simply been terrible at giving characters a distinct voice from the beginning, and he hasn't improved on this in the slightest, judging from that one page and those script samples from before. He's shown no interest in improving, considering his response to critique. That is a poor position to stand in as a writer, as you craft stagnates; that he refuses to improve it and at least try to give the characters distinct voice instead of handwaving it just shows little effort or care in the craft and story itself and makes me less inclined to read it.

 

Which leads me to what would make this project less unappealing to me. Two major things. Focus on completing it by a solid deadline. No prologue story, no talk about other projects, no merchandise. Just the book by a deadline, whatever he sets it as. (THEN, we can discuss expansion without me being as skeptical.) And, tossing us samples of how he's improving and editing. I don't know how to really say it without risk of someone interpreting as an attack, but I want Penders to show actual effort in making a good graphic novel, with revision from feedback and not brushing off critique from someone who could be a potential sale (and advertisement, I tend to suggest things that impress me/I like to friends/etc). 

 

Also, I agree with the concept of making Lara-Su less "Special" and "Perfect." I normally disagree with the whole concept of the "Mary-Su" but Penders actually has what deserves that term on his hands here. And, considering how Penders is attempting, especially with that bio from before, with selling Lara as borderline perfect, her appearances under his pen in the comic and those script samples show her making really bad or misinformed choices and even acting a bit childish/etc. Give her flaws and shortcomings. And acknowledge them as such.

 

(For example, I used to have my own fan and original characters as far too... not really perfect, but without enough real flaws or shortcomings or realism to them. So I listened to some friends' critique, and now they have various flaws. One is a leader with a temper and no interest in politicking despite it being crucial to her job, on top of her youth and inexperience leaving her with little to equip her for various situations. These all cause problems for her, and also gives her room to grow as she attempts to address them, at least a bit, and improve herself. Heck, these traits could be used to make Lara-Su a more interesting character. A teenager who wants to go on adventure and fight, but doesn't want the job part of the job, and has a temper and inexperience that creates problems she might have otherwise avoided. I'd be interested in reading that.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, I got another few things; naming the planet something other than Mobius, and NOT blowing it up into the little life ship meteor things. It's bad enough he insists on using the convoluted history of the Legion and the Island and all that jazz, but it just feels like piling on stuff with blowing up the world... and it's difficult to feel invested if we destroy the world right off the bat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright, remember guys, we're still in probation with this topic. So I think that we should cool it a bit on the Twitter stuff, since I think that was the straw that broke the camel's back the first time; even if he is making statements about Sonic X.

 

 

Hmm, I got another few things; naming the planet something other than Mobius, and NOT blowing it up into the little life ship meteor things. It's bad enough he insists on using the convoluted history of the Legion and the Island and all that jazz, but it just feels like piling on stuff with blowing up the world... and it's difficult to feel invested if we destroy the world right off the bat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never really got the planet blowing up thing. Apparently they had some weird plan in place in case something hits the planet and they have something in place because "Once bitten, twice shy", so...um, did the planet get hit by something in the Sonic continuity?

 

 

Also, it's the whole friggin' world getting blown up with only the Floating Island surviving. This type of event would normally leave any survivors dealing with survivor's guilt, PTSD, crippling depression, etc. Yet, Lara-Su... is more concerned with pissing contests with her cousin and her biggest concern is either losing her position or finding a boyfriend.

 

That's some serious, concerning social detatchment right there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never really got the planet blowing up thing. Apparently they had some weird plan in place in case something hits the planet and they have something in place because "Once bitten, twice shy", so...um, did the planet get hit by something in the Sonic continuity?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, see, THAT is a story I could get invested in. It's got a pretty solid premise and a natural progression of character growth and development. Though as said, the fact you would dare indicate an ACTUAL shade of grey in the Brotherhood/Legion feud would make this untennable than Penders. But hey, congrats; you just came up with something more interesting than a 'paid proffessional'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Story thought:

 

Lara-Su is an irresponsible and spoiled teen who fritters away her right as Guardian, and is sent to a different floating island/down to the planet below to learn responsibility. However, the Dark Legion makes their return and want to forcefully recruit her for some kind of secret that she is supposedly blessed with that could bring the Brotherhood of Guardians to its knees. Along the way, Lara befriends several of the local inhabitants, including the human Michael Taylor (no romance), and not only starts realizing just how spoiled and irresponsible she is and starts changing for the better, but that for all of the supposed differences the Dark Legion and Brotherhood have, both are xenophobic and set in traditions that no longer make sense, or only benefit the echidna/whatever Penders called them. With this change in perspective, she sets out to right wrongs and put an end to not only the conflict between the Legion and Brotherhood, but perhaps to change the beliefs of her entire race for the better.

 

No offence but this is beginning to sound more like a Ken Penders version of Star vs the Forces of Evil. You've got more or less the same story beats. Lara-Su= Star. Praetorian= Princess, both are sent to Earth, they both have to learn responsibility, they both have to use their titles and skills to stop evil, they both befriend a human boy but has no romantic feeling towards etc.  

 

That said, the unique stuff in there is good and it's still one thousand times more interesting than anything Ken could shove out, including using these characters better so as Horridus said. You've created a better story than a ''paid professional''

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
https://twitter.com/KenPenders/status/605923668967833600

 

Again, I don't see what this has to do with anything. Having a game doesn't indicate success, and even if he wanted to try go down that route, that logic can be used against him. Where's the Sega developed game based on Archie Sonic? Where's the Sega developed game based on Archie Knuckles? 

 

Hope this is still on topic (as it concerns some of the criteria Ken is using for judging successful spinoffs, and presumably by extension his own work), but I managed to get a bit more info from him about this on Twitter (I'll type these out rather than directly link):

 

_________________________________

Ken:

Where was the real SONIC X video game produced by SEGA?

 

Nestor [ulic Qel-Droma]:

Sonic X was BASED on the games - they did adaptations of Sonic Adventures 1 and 2, and Sonic Battle.

 

The Sonic X and game universes were too similar to have specific Sonic X games without total confusion.

 

Ken:

I'm not talking about what the series was based on.From a business perspective, there should've been a game

 

Nestor:

But that's the problem - you can't make a game of a series... already based on pre-existing games.

 

There would be no way of telling the Sonic X games apart from main games - the storylines are too similar.

 

With Boom it's different as the characters and universe are distinct enough to make it its own spin-off.

 

I'd suggest that Sonic X was never supposed to be its own spin-off franchise like Boom was...

 

... but was rather additional marketing and product recognition for the main games that it was based upon.

 

Also, out of curiosity, would you consider SatAM or the comics failures due to not having their own games?

 

Ken:

The SatAM series as well as the comics were part of the marketing plan for the original game.

 

Nestor:

I would agree - but surely the same is true of Sonic X, bearing in mind it adapted the games of the time?

_________________________________

 

I've only just posted the last tweet, so he hasn't yet had time to reply; I'll keep you posted if he gives some extra insight. It almost seems like he's reconsidered and is actually tacitly agreeing with me based on his response about SatAM and the comics being marketing for the games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Or ignoring you now that you brought up a point, which does happen at a fairly high frequency.

 

However if he actually concedes, that would be rather pleasant. My mental model of him doesn't allow for such concessions, so having Pen turn around and admit that he was mistaken about this would be a welcome change to a rather cynical point of view.

 

Of course, said cynical point of view is reminding me that this probably a very 'big' thing to be wrong about from Pen's perspective, as it has to do with his business sense and his evaluation of something SEGA did. So I'm fairly sure he's just going to ignore you now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright, remember guys, we're still in probation with this topic. So I think that we should cool it a bit on the Twitter stuff, since I think that was the straw that broke the camel's back the first time; even if he is making statements about Sonic X.

 

 

 

I still say that this next-level laziness, since Mobius blowing up wasn't even part of his comics continuity, but merely recycled from his rejected Sonic movie pitch.

 

Also, it's the whole friggin' world getting blown up with only the Floating Island surviving. This type of event would normally leave any survivors dealing with survivor's guilt, PTSD, crippling depression, etc. Yet, Lara-Su... is more concerned with pissing contests with her cousin and her biggest concern is either losing her position or finding a boyfriend.

 

That's some serious, concerning social detatchment right there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But you don't have to further a gaming icon with a film.  There are masses of famous franchises that furthered themselves without the use of film, or TV.  If he think that's the only way to further Sonic, then he's got a very narrow mind set towards the series.  It also annoys me that he upright refuses to at least consider Sonic X wasn't a flop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So while browsing the web for something on topic and appropriate, I stumbled upon this DA Journal. http://www.deviantart.com/journal/ken-Penders-537760690which seems to be written by one of the people that enjoy Penders newer works. I just wanted to talk about this for a second, and say that while this fan may not know about any of the things that Penders has done, he still is excited for The Lara-Su Chronicles. This makes me think of how much needs to be changed so that people like this aren't disappointed with the book when it comes out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He doesn't say that he's excited for the Lara-Su Chronicles, per se, just that he hopes he can make another good comic.

 

I... okay. I can understand that people like Penders' work. Personally, I think that most people did, or at least liked the ideas he came up with, if not the actual executions.

 

But I've done a few read throughs of the entire book, and honestly I can't get behind that statement at all. Okay, you can make long arguments about his early and middle period work, but I can't see how or why anyone can like or defend his late period stuff.

 

But if he doesn't know about the LSC, I'm sure he will sometime soon with a mere Google search.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He doesn't say that he's excited for the Lara-Su Chronicles, per se, just that he hopes he can make another good comic.

 

I... okay. I can understand that people like Penders' work. Personally, I think that most people did, or at least liked the ideas he came up with, if not the actual executions.

 

But I've done a few read throughs of the entire book, and honestly I can't get behind that statement at all. Okay, you can make long arguments about his early and middle period work, but I can't see how or why anyone can like or defend his late period stuff.

 

But if he doesn't know about the LSC, I'm sure he will sometime soon with a mere Google search.

Google images would be the cruellest way to learn such a truth, so I hope he doesn't find out that way.

Share this post


Link to post
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.


  • 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.