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

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6 minutes ago, Tylinos said:

My best guess is that, assuming he isn't just making things up or overexaggerating something, they might've had a conversation behind closed doors.  Maybe he told them he'd be willing to do an issue, and Archie said they wouldn't be against it.

Well, it wouldn't be the first time he chose to interpret politeness as an endorsement. Evidently he once claimed that Ben Hurst 'passed the torch' to him and that he was praising his work, when Hurst had never read anything by him. 

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I'm sure I said this before, but his actions ensured that his past work is not only looked down upon by newer fans, it doesn't even have the nostalgia filter among older fans to fall back on anymore.

The nostalgia for your work is mostly gone, Penders, and any memories of your characters that are untainted only remain so thanks to other writers who handled them. So of course, you couldn't even let them have that.

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At this point I'm starting to think he's being deliberately obtuse, not only about the fact that this discussion was opened by him rather condescendingly dismissing it as it currently exists, but also about his very vocal disdain for everything that happened after he left and his professed desire to see it undone. 

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You know it's funny that it's been weeks and we haven't heard much about his so-called app...or anything of his comic. Just over-exaggerated facts and excuses. Has it been held up another year or he's not gonna do it until he gets rights to use a Sega character? Preferably Knuckles, as he admitted before.

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3 minutes ago, antyep said:

You know it's funny that it's been weeks and we haven't heard much about his so-called app...or anything of his comic. Just over-exaggerated facts and excuses. Has it been held up another year or he's not gonna do it until he gets rights to use a Sega character?

One thing I will defend Ken on is that writing takes time, particularly if you're trying to polish it as best you can (though whether he succeeds at that or not is a different story), and trying to do all the art as well.  It's not a quick and easy job.

That said, he never should have started giving us potential release dates until he knew for certain when it'd be ready.  "COMING SOON IN 2012" is only as ridiculous as it is because of how botched of a promise it was.  Not learning his lesson and then saying stuff like "Oh, it'll be ready by summer," just made things worse.

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19 minutes ago, Tylinos said:

One thing I will defend Ken on is that writing takes time, particularly if you're trying to polish it as best you can (though whether he succeeds at that or not is a different story), and trying to do all the art as well.  It's not a quick and easy job.

That said, he never should have started giving us potential release dates until he knew for certain when it'd be ready.  "COMING SOON IN 2012" is only as ridiculous as it is because of how botched of a promise it was.  Not learning his lesson and then saying stuff like "Oh, it'll be ready by summer," just made things worse.

After he failed to deliver on his promise that it would be ready last year (Winter release, he claimed), he's been consistent about not giving it a set date of release. So, he's at least learned that much. Not that it does anything to erase the string of failed deliveries he already has to his name. Nor is it helped by the fact that he see's fit to create and release tie-in products even though the main book has yet to be released. 

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1 hour ago, SurrealBrain said:

He even attempted to deny he ever said it was coming in 2012, saying someone who mentioned that fact was a "troll..." despite the fact that there's still ebidence on his own forum, or at least there was.

It's still there, in all its... 'glory'. 

http://kenpenders.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=2454

One of the things that will always amaze me is how often he will deny having said or done something, but has taken zero steps to cover any of his tracks when it comes to this forum. 

Edit: I've been given the heads up by Tylinos that the Stadium currently has a weird glitch going on when it comes to links that causes parts of the address to get chopped off. If you wanna check out the topic at the end of that link, that verifies Ken stating LSC would be 'COMING SOON IN 2012', try copying and pasting, otherwise you're gonna be left thinking he deleted the thread. 

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Are there numbers out there for current sales to actually compare with the ones for Knuckles' series, or am I correct to assume that he's, to quote the immortal James Brown, talkin' loud and saying nothin' as usual?

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Without actually pulling it up, the direct market sales for Knuckles were regularly outdone by the on-going Sonic series (same applies to the Super Specials--the Image crossover being something of an outlier due to its novelty). Comicchron has a pretty large database dating back as far as 1995 for this sort of thing (for reference, the first issue of the Knuckles on-going, #4, came out in May 1997).

It's hard to account for things like mail-order subscriptions, newsstand sales, and, now, digital, though. I want to say the statements of ownership that are published annually in the books (I think they usually drop with the March issues) give a slightly clearer picture of overall sales. Though something to consider too is that comics are a bit more expensive now in comparison to when the Knuckles series was a thing. Both current Sonic books sell for 3.99, the last Knuckles book that came out in 1999 was nearly half that price ($1.79), so even though the Sonic books are probably doing, on average, 7000 units, so they probably do a bit better (granted the sales are probably a bit inflated with variants). We should also consider that, if the Knuckles series was doing so well as he claims, Penders wouldn't have been telling people to buy two copies to try to inflate the sales near the end of the book's run. I'm willing to believe Wal-Mart choosing not to carry comics anymore at the time did have an effect, but if Sonic survived that, then I don't think he was ever telling the whole story about how badly the Knuckles book was doing in the first place.

But Penders omitting parts of the truth isn't new.

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3 minutes ago, Zaysho said:

Without actually pulling it up, the direct market sales for Knuckles were regularly outdone by the on-going Sonic series (same applies to the Super Specials--the Image crossover being something of an outlier due to its novelty). Comicchron has a pretty large database dating back as far as 1995 for this sort of thing (for reference, the first issue of the Knuckles on-going, #4, came out in May 1997).

It's hard to account for things like mail-order subscriptions, newsstand sales, and, now, digital, though. I want to say the statements of ownership that are published annually in the books (I think they usually drop with the March issues) give a slightly clearer picture of overall sales. Though something to consider too is that comics are a bit more expensive now in comparison to when the Knuckles series was a thing. Both current Sonic books sell for 3.99, the last Knuckles book that came out in 1999 was nearly half that price ($1.79), so even though the Sonic books are probably doing, on average, 7000 units, so they probably do a bit better (granted the sales are probably a bit inflated with variants). We should also consider that, if the Knuckles series was doing so well as he claims, Penders wouldn't have been telling people to buy two copies to try to inflate the sales near the end of the book's run. I'm willing to believe Wal-Mart choosing not to carry comics anymore at the time did have an effect, but if Sonic survived that, then I don't think he was ever telling the whole story about how badly the Knuckles book was doing in the first place.

But Penders omitting parts of the truth isn't new.

Keep in mind too that Ian has already addressed this, and his reply basically amounted to the books were selling as well as ever, but they were being sold through different means (Digital and such) which didn't apply in the sales figures that were being drawn up, so basically, the sales figures for the comics now are pretty unreliable. Back then, when there was no such digital comics, you couldn't purchase them overseas without specifically ordering them (Unlike now where we have eBay, and digital comics). Therefore, for all of Penders' talks of grandeur, it's entirely possible that Knuckles, and all of his comics sold far worse than now because they didn't have wide audience availability, and that's not to mention all of Zaysho's above points, this equals to nothing but total nonsense.

TL;DR: Penders you need to

 

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As I thought, he's talkin' loud and saying nothin'. Tell 'em Godfather!

 

For real though, does he get off on spreading misinformation? I understand, even though he didn't create Knuckles, that was his baby for a good chunk of his career till around 2005-2006 and he wants to take pride in it. But making boldface lies about it to the point where you seem to be drinking your own Kool-Aid? I don't think even Frank Miller would even stoop that low.

He's allowed to take pride in his work, even if others think its crap. I get that. But that doesn't give him a free pass to be a throbbing, hypocritical and dismissive prick about it. The closest example I can think of to compare Penders to was when J. Michael Straczynski implied that the sales of  the The Amazing Spider-Man comic went down after Dan Slott had taken over his position, and he ended up getting into a very public spat with other writers and editors, including Slott himself. And even then, he openly admitted that the "big" story he did for the comic at the end of his run, One More Day, was horrible because he was forced to do it, and he had tried to get his name off the covers to protect his rep. Of course there was the Sins Past arc too, but not even he likes talking about that...

But here, Penders lacks so much self awareness, it's almost cringeworthy, and he's convinced any writer that worked on the comic that isn't him is an utter hack and didn't bring anything to the table. I know it's been said many times here before, but it's kinda sad he's acting out this way. I think if he had of simply used totally original characters for this project instead of trying to cling onto the one thing he had the most success with to the point of outright stealing it, he probably wouldn't have lost all the goodwill he had left with a lot of fans.

As a writer myself, I hope I never reach his level of pettiness and delusion.

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20 hours ago, Afro Thunder said:

As I thought, he's talkin' loud and saying nothin'. Tell 'em Godfather!

 

For real though, does he get off on spreading misinformation? I understand, even though he didn't create Knuckles, that was his baby for a good chunk of his career till around 2005-2006 and he wants to take pride in it. But making boldface lies about it to the point where you seem to be drinking your own Kool-Aid? I don't think even Frank Miller would even stoop that low.

He's allowed to take pride in his work, even if others think its crap. I get that. But that doesn't give him a free pass to be a throbbing, hypocritical and dismissive prick about it. The closest example I can think of to compare Penders to was when J. Michael Straczynski implied that the sales of  the The Amazing Spider-Man comic went down after Dan Slott had taken over his position, and he ended up getting into a very public spat with other writers and editors, including Slott himself. And even then, he openly admitted that the "big" story he did for the comic at the end of his run, One More Day, was horrible because he was forced to do it, and he had tried to get his name off the covers to protect his rep. Of course there was the Sins Past arc too, but not even he likes talking about that...

But here, Penders lacks so much self awareness, it's almost cringeworthy, and he's convinced any writer that worked on the comic that isn't him is an utter hack and didn't bring anything to the table. I know it's been said many times here before, but it's kinda sad he's acting out this way. I think if he had of simply used totally original characters for this project instead of trying to cling onto the one thing he had the most success with to the point of outright stealing it, he probably wouldn't have lost all the goodwill he had left with a lot of fans.

As a writer myself, I hope I never reach his level of pettiness and delusion.

Penders likes to take advantage of the fact that Twitter's format makes it difficult for him to really be properly called out or contradicted about his statements (it's why he stopped posting on his forum), as well as the fact that neither ARchie nor Ian Flynn, whether out of legal obligation or professional courtesy, will strike back at him for his various innaccurate and self-serving statements. As to why he does this, Penders is at once overly invested in his time on Sonic and incapable of moving on, as well as hellbent on being seen as 'the good guy' in this entire mess despite many of his legitimately shoddy actions after the trial and during his time on the comic. He wants people on his side, and he refuses to acknowledge any wrongdoing on his own part. Case in point- 

For context, this one started with Penders mentioning that he owes Bollers a 'huge apology', which is a rather nice gesture... but it does not excuse him from the fact that the 'disagreement' was a bit more severe than he's making it sound. In the past, Bollers stated that the 25YL storyline Penders was doing was an Elseworld's type of story, merely one future of many. Penders was adamant about the idea that 25YL as he wrote it was *the* future of the book, no ifs, ands or buts. He went so far as to delete threads that brought up the fact on his forum (and lying about doing it), and would later accuse Bollers of trying to undermine him and of throwing a hissyfit. Sufficed to say, 'disagreement' is a tad euphemistic to describe what actually happened. 

So in short? Penders is an egomaniacal, willfully deceitful, and self-serving sorry excuse for a person. This is a guy who claimed that SEGA and Archie were somehow responsible for the fandom turning against him, despite neither of them having said anything about him on their social media or anywhere during the trial and after it, and later went as far as to accuse Ian Flynn of stealing ideas from him under the flimsiest pretences imaginable. He refuses to take responsibility for his actions, and is too invested in the idea of being the 'best' Sonic writer to really entertain the idea that other people might have done things better than him or have been just as important to the book. 

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1 hour ago, horridus said:

Penders likes to take advantage of the fact that Twitter's format makes it difficult for him to really be properly called out or contradicted about his statements (it's why he stopped posting on his forum), as well as the fact that neither ARchie nor Ian Flynn, whether out of legal obligation or professional courtesy, will strike back at him for his various innaccurate and self-serving statements. As to why he does this, Penders is at once overly invested in his time on Sonic and incapable of moving on, as well as hellbent on being seen as 'the good guy' in this entire mess despite many of his legitimately shoddy actions after the trial and during his time on the comic. He wants people on his side, and he refuses to acknowledge any wrongdoing on his own part. Case in point-

*snip*

For context, this one started with Penders mentioning that he owes Bollers a 'huge apology', which is a rather nice gesture... but it does not excuse him from the fact that the 'disagreement' was a bit more severe than he's making it sound. In the past, Bollers stated that the 25YL storyline Penders was doing was an Elseworld's type of story, merely one future of many. Penders was adamant about the idea that 25YL as he wrote it was *the* future of the book, no ifs, ands or buts. He went so far as to delete threads that brought up the fact on his forum (and lying about doing it), and would later accuse Bollers of trying to undermine him and of throwing a hissyfit. Sufficed to say, 'disagreement' is a tad euphemistic to describe what actually happened. 

So in short? Penders is an egomaniacal, willfully deceitful, and self-serving sorry excuse for a person. This is a guy who claimed that SEGA and Archie were somehow responsible for the fandom turning against him, despite neither of them having said anything about him on their social media or anywhere during the trial and after it, and later went as far as to accuse Ian Flynn of stealing ideas from him under the flimsiest pretences imaginable. He refuses to take responsibility for his actions, and is too invested in the idea of being the 'best' Sonic writer to really entertain the idea that other people might have done things better than him or have been just as important to the book.

That would be like if Yuji Naka or Shigeru Miyamoto had shat on everything their respective companies had done to their characters without their direct input and tried to "take back" the right to the characters they didn't even own, while ignoring the fact they always had a whole team to help bring their visions to life. (hypothetically speaking, this would probably apply to Naka's case more, as I think Miyamoto has overseen nearly ever major Mario/Zelda/Metroid/Donkey Kong title released since their inceptions.)

Penders obviously knew anything he did that wasn't remotely connected to Sonic in anyway was practically dead on arrival, even if he wrote a beautifully written masterpiece. I can't blame homie for wanting a higher royalty rate for reprints and the like, but what do you gain out of screwing up twenty years of comic book lore (It was close to twenty years for the comic when the reboot happened, right?) and ruining several story arcs that were planned? You gain your characters, sure, but you not only lose the respect you had from longtime fans, but you also confuse and infuriate newer readers who were just getting into the comic. And you can't blame the hand for ruining your reputation when they actually tried to meet halfway with your demands, but you not only bit them, but ripped their whole arm off. I'm starting to think he knows what he's doing, but he's putting on a facade just to piss off everyone.

And since we're on the subject of SEGA, any chance they're the reason he's delaying the book? He may have gotten lucky with Archie, but his character designs are still biting SEGA's IP way too hard no matter how deep in the Uncanny Valley he tries to go, and that's not even getting into the Geoffrey St. John thing, as well as his apparent plans to introduce Sonic and the other Archie characters. Ya'll think he's trying to wait long enough to fool SEGA into thinking he's off their radar to quietly throw the book up for sale to avoid getting pumped full of legal bullets by their lawyers?

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5 hours ago, Afro Thunder said:

That would be like if Yuji Naka or Shigeru Miyamoto had shat on everything their respective companies had done to their characters without their direct input and tried to "take back" the right to the characters they didn't even own, while ignoring the fact they always had a whole team to help bring their visions to life. (hypothetically speaking, this would probably apply to Naka's case more, as I think Miyamoto has overseen nearly ever major Mario/Zelda/Metroid/Donkey Kong title released since their inceptions.)

Penders obviously knew anything he did that wasn't remotely connected to Sonic in anyway was practically dead on arrival, even if he wrote a beautifully written masterpiece. I can't blame homie for wanting a higher royalty rate for reprints and the like, but what do you gain out of screwing up twenty years of comic book lore (It was close to twenty years for the comic when the reboot happened, right?) and ruining several story arcs that were planned? You gain your characters, sure, but you not only lose the respect you had from longtime fans, but you also confuse and infuriate newer readers who were just getting into the comic. And you can't blame the hand for ruining your reputation when they actually tried to meet halfway with your demands, but you not only bit them, but ripped their whole arm off. I'm starting to think he knows what he's doing, but he's putting on a facade just to piss off everyone.

And since we're on the subject of SEGA, any chance they're the reason he's delaying the book? He may have gotten lucky with Archie, but his character designs are still biting SEGA's IP way too hard no matter how deep in the Uncanny Valley he tries to go, and that's not even getting into the Geoffrey St. John thing, as well as his apparent plans to introduce Sonic and the other Archie characters. Ya'll think he's trying to wait long enough to fool SEGA into thinking he's off their radar to quietly throw the book up for sale to avoid getting pumped full of legal bullets by their lawyers?

Yeah, even though Yuji Naka no longer works at Sega his departure has been a lot more graceful then Penders’ eternal temper tantrum. I mean, Yuji Naka's new studio Prope has done some great work, including a fantastic game based on the first season of Digimon for the PSP. Yuji Naka, seen by many as the father of Sonic the Hedgehog, has more prestige then many in regards to the history of the franchise. However, Yuji Naka has never said a malign word about Sega today and by all accounts is supportive of Takashi Iizuka’s efforts as the current head of Sonic Team. Yuji Naka represents the best of what a former employee’s relationship with Sega should look like.

Now granted, there is a great deal of difference between a programmer and writer but there's no still no reason to excuse Penders for his behaviour. In the end Penders is no tortured artist, struggling to express himself in a hostile world. The man was recruited by Archie to work on their new licenced property from Sega; while being given considerable creative scope to write whatever he liked, so long as he managed to combine and adapt the limited amount of lore already established in the games and SATAM. The stories of Sonic the Hedgehog were never his to begin with; nor were the stories of Knuckles of the Echidna, no matter how many branches of Knuckles’ family tree Penders chooses to write.

Penders is a fool if he thinks that anyone will want to read his Lara-Su Chronicles after his behaviour since leaving Archie. He no longer has the backing of the biggest video game franchise of the 90s to support the launch of a new comic. Neither does he have the Archie name to lean on in order to gain the interest of general comic book readers. While any sympathy he had with the Sonic fanbase has evaporated since his lawsuit directly caused the reboot. I doubt Sega is preventing him from publishing, Penders probably realises that the Lara-Su Chronicles are doomed from the start and is stalling for time. A settlement with Sega to regain the rights to those comic characters is Penders only chance at making money.

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So I'm assuming he's only going to get a reality check when this thing bombs like a nuke and he's hit with his own lawsuit or eats a shoryuken to the jaw? I don't wanna wish violence on nobody, but he has the type of attitude that would make even the most patient person wanna put your lights out.

Okay, so the only chance he's giving the characters back to Archie is if he dies, and that might not be for many more years. The question remains who does he explicitly own? I know he owns every echidna character except the one they're all based off, and Geoffrey St. John, but there was also a shit ton of characters made by different writers that got nuked in the reboot too, so what characters did Penders himself create besides GSJ and Knuckles recolour #3208490130398? And have any other past writers said that they were cool with their characters appearing in the reboot?

Also, though this is more of a general Archie!Sonic question, I read somewhere that there's some sort of embargo on Archie characters crossing over into the games, Sonic Spinball notwithstanding. Was this due to Penders or was there a stipulation in Archie's contract with SEGA that mandated it from the get-go?

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All non-Sega echidnas except Athair, Geoffrey St. John, Hershey, Elias, Queen Alicia Acorn, all of the Wolfpack except Lupe, Saffron, Sonic's parents, Antoine's dad, Hamlin Pig, Feist, Rob'O the Hedge, Frier Buck, anything Cat Country-related, Scourge and anything to do with Moebius (ludicrous, I know), and a bunch more I can't remember at this time.

EDIT: full list- http://archiesonic.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Characters_introduced_by_Ken_Penders

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3 hours ago, Afro Thunder said:

Also, though this is more of a general Archie!Sonic question, I read somewhere that there's some sort of embargo on Archie characters crossing over into the games, Sonic Spinball notwithstanding. Was this due to Penders or was there a stipulation in Archie's contract with SEGA that mandated it from the get-go?

That one was all SEGA all the time, and I'm not entirely certain for the reasoning behind it in the past- I once heard that their copyrights are a warped, tangled web of insanity, and the reason why characters outside the games appeared for all of one time in Sonic Spinball is because evidently Sega of America had the copyright, but NOT Sega of Japan. I'm not sure how true that is or how that's supposed to work, but that's what I had heard. In the present time though, SEGA evidently desires that the game and Comic continuities be separate from one another and, as a result, they keep the various characters who debuted in other media out of the games, and will even keep characters from games out of the comic if they feel like it. Cream the Rabbit didn't make an appearance for many years because she was deemed a 'Sonic X' character in SEGA's eyes (despite debuting on the Advance games), and Eggman Nega is still forbidden for... reasons that have never really been made adequately clear. 

But yeah, long story short, that's SEGA's call and Penders had nothing to do with it. 

As for past writers and ownership, thanks to the legal weakness exposed by the lawsuit everyone else's contributions were removed to prevent similar lawsuits, and as such they all have copyright on the characters the created in the book. Whether they're okay with their stuff re-appearing is not really known as nobody has asked. How many are even aware of their characters being removed is hazy given that the only other major creator on the book who can be easily reached, KArl Bollers, had absolutely no idea his characters had been removed until a fan brought it up to him on his twitter, years after the fact. Whether he or any of the others are open to giving back their characters is unknown, but probably unlikely in the face of Archie's legitimately shoddy treatment of its employees over the years. Not helping is that Archie doesn't have all that much of a motive to buy them back at this point- they don't actually *need* any of the Pre-Reboot characters given that things have gone pretty swimmingly in spite of their absence, nor do they have any desire to pay for characters that from their standpoint belonged to SEGA from the beginning. Scott Fulop's own imminent lawsuit further lowers the probability of them wanting anything to do with any pre-reboot characters. 

Making things even murkier than all that though is that we don't know precisely who owns what. Penders some time ago declared that he would try and buy up the copyrights of the other creators and even claimed that he already had offers, but nothing has been heard of that since and nobody has bothered to ask about it. Scott Fulop's copyright is still clearly his given that it's the basis of his lawsuit, and Ghallager's hasn't seen fit to allow Penders to use any of his own characters for Lara-Su Chronicles (prompting Pender to create a female stand-in for Athair called Auri-On), but otherwise we just don't know for sure. Given that Penders can't really offer all that much, especially given that LSC is doomed to never amount to anything finance-wise, it's not likely that he actually has any of the copyrights... but at the end of the day, we don't really know for sure. 

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@horridus God have mercy on the lawyers who gotta deal with that mess. There should be no reason for such a big mess if SEGA owns the IP in full. It boggles my mind how big of a clusterfuck Sega has with their copyrights. Makes you wonder about the Fleetway comics...

I also remember reading a long time ago that Bollers said he was cool with Archie/SEGA using his characters, though I can't remember where it was said.

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2 hours ago, Afro Thunder said:

@horridus God have mercy on the lawyers who gotta deal with that mess. There should be no reason for such a big mess if SEGA owns the IP in full. It boggles my mind how big of a clusterfuck Sega has with their copyrights. Makes you wonder about the Fleetway comics...

I also remember reading a long time ago that Bollers said he was cool with Archie/SEGA using his characters, though I can't remember where it was said.

You ever wonder why nothing from Sonic X or The OVA ever made it into the comics? Evidently this is the reason. Penders even invoked this to justify him ripping off the hat Knuckles wore from the OVA for his ripoff 'K'nox', claiming that it was okay because neither Archie nor SEGA owned it... but not seemingto register that it meant he was still ripping off the company that made the hat. 

I recall Bollers making a tweet like that, but the thing is, even if he was 'okay' with it, so long as he desires the retain the copyright? It's a no go. Archie only publishes stuff under the prerequisite that everything they make is owned by SEGA. Even if a creator was willing to give away their contributions for free, so long as they retain the copyright and thus become a secondary lisence holder on the comic, it just won't work. Incidentally, this is why Penders claims of trying to be 'reasonable' with Archie are full of crap- he pretty much demanded they bend over backwards to accomodate him and risk losing the lisence to print Sonic comics in doing so. They literally cannot do it, no matter what Penders insists. 

Speaking of which, Penders has decided to elaborate more on what any hypothetical 'return' from him would entail.

So evidently despite claiming that he should be the one to do issue 300, he doesn't actually think the people who own the characters and the setting and the franchise should have any input regarding the depiction of their property. Because of course. Also, this entire premise sounds eerily familiar, enough to make me rather happy he'll have nothing to do with Sonic again. Somehow though that last statement doesn't seem really re-assuring when it sounds more like he'd wind up poisoning the bathwater with the baby in it... 

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I think the fate of Sonic at Archie is tied to the success of RIVERDALE. If it's a hit, I see Archie cutting it loose.

...Sorry, what?  Where exactly is he pulling this claim from?  Why would the Riverdale show succeeding be any reason for Archie wanting to cut the Sonic series?  That makes absolutely no sense.

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