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

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1 hour ago, horridus said:

You're not the first to make this observation, whether on this thread or elsewhere in the fandom- many people have brought it up either when discussing it among themselves or even directly to Penders on is twitter or his forum. Penders abjectly, utterly and completely refuses to truly divorce himself from his time on Sonic, and no matter what he claims, it's painfully obvious that he doesn't really want to move on. He's even speculated about how he should have the right to reprint Knuckles comics in order to tie into the Lara-Su Chronicles. 

It's because despite everything he claims, he knows he has literally nothing else to his name. His only major original work, the Lost Ones, was a miserable failure despite his denial. He knows that he has no real ability to get people interested in his work on his own. He needs that Sonic connection, because it's the only thing that can even remotely hook people into his work or generate interest. 

It's like watching someone who can't get over their ex and would do anything to get them back no matter what, almost like Robin Thicke. But honestly, I've said all I could say about his writing and other questionable decisions. Even if he wanted to keep the anthropomorphic animals thing, he still could've spun the characters he had into unique designs. But guy honestly should've purged his social media long before now. He may have did himself no favours with the lawsuit, but he's not helping his case going back and forth with the people he's supposed to be selling his comic to. Does he have a running bet to see how many people can he piss off and still make decent sales of the book? It just boggles my mind.

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On 12/24/2016 at 4:10 PM, Afro Thunder said:

If Penders really wanted to do his old stories without trying to wreck Flynn's run, he could've proposed an Elseworlds-esque series where he could do whatever the hell he wants without it affecting the mainline comic. He gets to wreck shop in his own little bubble of the Sonic multiverse, and he stays far away from the major comic books. Everyone wins.

Weeellll, not necessarily. Going back to when he left the book, he wasn't really in a position where he was allowed to do whatever he wanted to anymore. By that point, SEGA was actually paying attention to the comic again and then-editor Mike Pellerito was trying to give more focus to game elements and characters (though not shunting the comic-originals). So, say had he successfully pitched this and gotten it into production around that time (during Pellerito's tenure as editor and the beginning of Flynn's run), it's highly unlikely he'd have free rein without someone above him requesting changes--something, from what I've gathered watching this whole thing, Pen didn't like (which is why he quit in the first place).

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1 hour ago, Afro Thunder said:

It's like watching someone who can't get over their ex and would do anything to get them back no matter what, almost like Robin Thicke. But honestly, I've said all I could say about his writing and other questionable decisions. Even if he wanted to keep the anthropomorphic animals thing, he still could've spun the characters he had into unique designs. But guy honestly should've purged his social media long before now. He may have did himself no favours with the lawsuit, but he's not helping his case going back and forth with the people he's supposed to be selling his comic to. Does he have a running bet to see how many people can he piss off and still make decent sales of the book? It just boggles my mind.

His desire to keep them as anthropomorphic animals is more to the detriment of his product than anything given that he has consistently insisted that this is a 'hard science fiction' story- which involves an alien world that just happens to be named after a human word, populated by creatures that look like humanoid animals, who are named for the latin taxonomical terms used to describe those animals (Except, evidently, the Echyd'nya). In a hard science fiction story. 

(For those of you not in the know, 'Hard Science Fiction' is science fiction that puts the 'Science' in Science Fiction, being based upon more real world science and the applications thereof in the work. Such works tend to be marked by things like no FTL travel, aliens being incredibly alien compared to humans if they are there at all, and generally taking a more grounded approach to speculating about the future and such. 'Soft' science fiction by contrast is stuff like Star Wars or Star Trek. Neither is better or worse than the other, but Hard Science Fiction is generally considered more of the 'thinking man's' science fiction. In giving his work this label he has implicitly raised the bar... and so far has demonstrated an incredibly limited understanding of the genre he claims his work will be.) 

Frankly, even the stuff that didn't start in the comics isn't exactly confidence filling. 

tumblr_inline_nu22lhwZp21re1bwb_540.png

Page one and we already have three pop cultural references, and evidently a plot point about a malevolent AI called 'Skyweb'. The signs, they are not good. 

As for his behavior... that's really the most baffling aspect of all of this. His twitter is a train wreck, and his forum isn't much better- it's filled with him making preposterous statements that paint him in a bad light, along with him highlighting how unreasonable his expectations are, to say nothing of the repeated instances of him distorting facts to suit his own ends, as well as highlighting his refusal to actually meet criticism in an adult manner and simply avoiding details in conversation rather than openly addressing points that damage his own arguments. That whole place is a treasure trove of painting Penders in a really, really bad light, yet he lets it stand all the same. 

Some theorize that he never really intends to finish this work and is just milking it for attention, though if that's the case then he's awfully dedicated to the illusion given that he's repeatedly said stuff like 'failure is not an option'. The more likely explanation is that for all his talk, Penders doesn't really understand just how crucial online PR really is in this day and age and doesn't really 'get' that by acting like this he just makes any potential investors or buyers reluctant to look any further... as if his awful, awful work didn't do enough of that already. 

Guy is a conundrum, to say the least. 

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23 minutes ago, horridus said:

As for his behavior... that's really the most baffling aspect of all of this. His twitter is a train wreck, and his forum isn't much better- it's filled with him making preposterous statements that paint him in a bad light, along with him highlighting how unreasonable his expectations are, to say nothing of the repeated instances of him distorting facts to suit his own ends, as well as highlighting his refusal to actually meet criticism in an adult manner and simply avoiding details in conversation rather than openly addressing points that damage his own arguments. That whole place is a treasure trove of painting Penders in a really, really bad light, yet he lets it stand all the same. 

Some theorize that he never really intends to finish this work and is just milking it for attention, though if that's the case then he's awfully dedicated to the illusion given that he's repeatedly said stuff like 'failure is not an option'. The more likely explanation is that for all his talk, Penders doesn't really understand just how crucial online PR really is in this day and age and doesn't really 'get' that by acting like this he just makes any potential investors or buyers reluctant to look any further... as if his awful, awful work didn't do enough of that already. 

Guy is a conundrum, to say the least. 

Ironically, it seems that what Penders really needs is a good editor. Someone with the authority to say no to his more outlandish ideas and keep him focused on the bigger picture, even if that means kicking his ass when necessary. Because I get that Penders is a highly creative individual, he did a lot for the Sonic comics but at the same time he also took many storylines in bizarre and unwelcome directions. I shudder to think what would have happened to the Sonic comics if Penders didn't have an editor trying to rein him in. Nevertheless, I still think that Penders has considerable talent as a writer, he just needs somebody to filter those ideas into a commercially viable product.

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10 hours ago, Zaysho said:

Weeellll, not necessarily. Going back to when he left the book, he wasn't really in a position where he was allowed to do whatever he wanted to anymore. By that point, SEGA was actually paying attention to the comic again and then-editor Mike Pellerito was trying to give more focus to game elements and characters (though not shunting the comic-originals). So, say had he successfully pitched this and gotten it into production around that time (during Pellerito's tenure as editor and the beginning of Flynn's run), it's highly unlikely he'd have free rein without someone above him requesting changes--something, from what I've gathered watching this whole thing, Pen didn't like (which is why he quit in the first place).

That, and the fact that doing something Elseworlds is a compromise, and despite what he says, Penders is really not about compromise -- unless it's the other side doing the compromising.

In this case, an Elseworld isn't good enough for him -- he wants his to be the world, and probably regarded above SEGA's, at that. Otherwise, I'm sure he thinks it doesn't really count.

Ironically, his rigidness has seen to it that his versions of the future are even less than that now. At least before, they were a part of the fabric of the comic. Now, they're effectively nothing.

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18 hours ago, Kintor said:

Ironically, it seems that what Penders really needs is a good editor. Someone with the authority to say no to his more outlandish ideas and keep him focused on the bigger picture, even if that means kicking his ass when necessary. Because I get that Penders is a highly creative individual, he did a lot for the Sonic comics but at the same time he also took many storylines in bizarre and unwelcome directions. I shudder to think what would have happened to the Sonic comics if Penders didn't have an editor trying to rein him in. Nevertheless, I still think that Penders has considerable talent as a writer, he just needs somebody to filter those ideas into a commercially viable product.

"Creative individual" is a bit much... many of Penders ideas are incredibly derivative, patchwork things drawn together from various bits and pieces of media that he likes. His ideas read like a hodgepodge of facets of Superman, Dune and Star Trek that he proceeded to paint over with a coat of Sonic themed paint. The origins of the Floating Island read like an AU of Superman where the rulers of Krypton listened to Jor-El (complete with the figure responsible for noticing the danger being called 'Jor-Dann'), the methods of the Brotherhood of Guardians are like a G-Rated version of the Bene Gesserit from Dune (complete with a 'Chosen One'), and then of course there are the myriad references to Star Trek. And somehow, despite vocally claiming to not be a Star Wars fan, there's a lot of The Force in the Chaos Force and elements of the Jedi in the Guardians. 

As for Penders writing 'talents'... nnnooot really. He's overly reliant on exposition, his character development is sudden, almost never foreshadowed and never really factoring into things, and his longterm plots make less and less sense as time goes on. Ideas of his that sound workable on paper are badly, badly executed when the time comes for him to come up to bat- look at the entirety of 25YL, a storyline with a hook that any writer should have been able to make great, but where he faffed about focusing on domestic drama and slumber parties. 

The best thing that can be said about Penders is that on paper he can come up with workable ideas, but in the end, others should be the ones to flesh them out and develope them. 

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8 hours ago, horridus said:

"Creative individual" is a bit much... many of Penders ideas are incredibly derivative, patchwork things drawn together from various bits and pieces of media that he likes. His ideas read like a hodgepodge of facets of Superman, Dune and Star Trek that he proceeded to paint over with a coat of Sonic themed paint. The origins of the Floating Island read like an AU of Superman where the rulers of Krypton listened to Jor-El (complete with the figure responsible for noticing the danger being called 'Jor-Dann'), the methods of the Brotherhood of Guardians are like a G-Rated version of the Bene Gesserit from Dune (complete with a 'Chosen One'), and then of course there are the myriad references to Star Trek. And somehow, despite vocally claiming to not be a Star Wars fan, there's a lot of The Force in the Chaos Force and elements of the Jedi in the Guardians. 

As for Penders writing 'talents'... nnnooot really. He's overly reliant on exposition, his character development is sudden, almost never foreshadowed and never really factoring into things, and his longterm plots make less and less sense as time goes on. Ideas of his that sound workable on paper are badly, badly executed when the time comes for him to come up to bat- look at the entirety of 25YL, a storyline with a hook that any writer should have been able to make great, but where he faffed about focusing on domestic drama and slumber parties. 

The best thing that can be said about Penders is that on paper he can come up with workable ideas, but in the end, others should be the ones to flesh them out and develope them. 

Heh... and here I thought I was being too harsh on Penders in my last post, turns out I didn't go far enough.

Don't get me wrong, I hate the guy but I try to temper my criticism of his work by acknowledging all that he has actually done for the comic in its earliest days. I honestly don't mind the apparent inspiration taken from things like Dune and Superman. After all, the Death Egg is a rather blatant reference to Star Wars' Death Star; while the seven Chaos Emeralds and Super Sonic have obvious parallels to Dragon Ball Z. So reading through the back issues these inclusions on Pender's part rarely struck me as being odd or out of place, in this respect Penders' approach to the franchise wasn't that different to Sonic Team.

Still, when you get right down to it, Penders problems as a writer are actually hard to define as any single particular quirk. If anything, maybe Penders biggest fault is that he somehow never really understood his audience when writing Sonic comics. His obsession with Knuckles’ bloodline and half-backed interest in mysticism threatened to overwhelm the comics. At least when Knuckles the Echidna and the Sonic Specials where running those ideas could be contained away from the main comic. When those spinoffs ended however Penders had no outlet for these ideas, meaning that even Sonic the Hedgehog storylines began to take an increasingly bizarre turn.

So I think that the comics are better off without Penders. His departure from Archie should have been the end of it, just another burnout and crazed writer left in the wake of the American comic book industry. Yet against all odds Penders managed to successfully mount a court case against Archie and throw the entire Sonic comic line into disarray. It makes me furious thinking about it, I don’t know whether to be angry at Penders for winning or angry at Archie for allowing this to happen through sheer incompetence.  All I really want is for Sega to regain the rights to those characters, as it should be.

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Yeah. but for those things like Super Sonic and the Death Egg, you really don't need to have seen the original source material to understand what a lot of it is, and because of that, it falls more under taking inspiration rather than out and out stealing. Super Sonic is an extremely powerful form that's activated through the use of seven chaos emeralds, and can't be activated otherwise. Other species including foxes, echidnas, and cats can make use of their power, or an equivalent of their power. The Death Egg, while still taking inspiration obviously falls more under a parody and because of that, doesn't include any of the same weaknesses, if any at all. Where in Star Wars, the weakness was an exhaust point, here, the thing is solidly built and the only weakness it has is it's high power consumption.

When Penders does these things, he tends not to actually change them, but just pretty much copy it word for word, only with expy versions of the original characters, kinda like he's doing right now with Fuckles actually. 

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1 minute ago, Ryannumber1Santa said:

Yeah. but for those things like Super Sonic and the Death Egg, you really don't need to have seen the original source material to understand what a lot of it is, and because of that, it falls more under taking inspiration rather than out and out stealing. Super Sonic is an extremely powerful form that's activated through the use of seven chaos emeralds, and can't be activated otherwise. Other species including foxes, echidnas, and cats can make use of their power, or an equivalent of their power. The Death Egg, while still taking inspiration obviously falls more under a parody and because of that, doesn't include any of the same weaknesses, if any at all. Where in Star Wars, the weakness was an exhaust point, here, the thing is solidly built and the only weakness it has is it's high power consumption.

When Penders does these things, he tends not to actually change them, but just pretty much copy it word for word, only with expy versions of the original characters, kinda like he's doing right now with Fuckles actually. 

Yeah, Penders could have certainly done a better job of making those inspirations a little more distinctive. Other time Penders storylines are just plain weird. Like Knuckles the Echidna #10 to #12, where Knuckles basically becomes 'Echidna Moses' as he leads a tribe of lost Echidnas to their promised land, the mysterious island of Albion. Quite a mashup, combining biblical myths with Arthurian legends; doesn't really work as a story. I mean, to be fair exodus stories are as old as dirt; even most of the bible rips off earlier myths anyway. Still Penders would have to be crazy to think that readers of Sonic comics really wanted to see a story about Knuckles wandering through the middle of nowhere to save a bunch of smelly luddites.

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While Penders' writing would strongly profit from having a competent editor to steer it in harder turns, there seems to be a small problem; he doesn't really seem to appreciate having such a help since of he seems not to think high on someone having authority over his ideas/characters/plot-twists.

So, the only way I can come up with to make it work would be that "the editor" wouldn't - if possible - appeal to him as a such, and at least that person should be capable of steering him so subtly he'd think the ideas were something he came up himself. That kind of person would be pretty hard to come by, let alone the fact it smells a bit fishy of an idea morally speaking, all that scheming behind his back and such. It's pretty sad actually, since being more able to cooperate storywise would help him greatly.

I suppose he's just a school example of the base reasoning I use in these kinds of situations; people tend to see the world only from their own perspective since it's already physically pretty hard to get inside of someone else's position (including the whole life-story, physical restrictions, emotional affectiveness and such). This pretty much means the only thing to compare the whole world to is through your own experiences. That means one can never really "know" other's reasons of doing stuff like they do and thus can sometimes do the exact thing themselves they accused/scolded others a second ago. And to me it seems like Penders stopped trying to figure others a long time ago and just runs with factory-settings. That's actually pretty sad.

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2 hours ago, BlueSky said:

While Penders' writing would strongly profit from having a competent editor to steer it in harder turns, there seems to be a small problem; he doesn't really seem to appreciate having such a help since of he seems not to think high on someone having authority over his ideas/characters/plot-twists.

So, the only way I can come up with to make it work would be that "the editor" wouldn't - if possible - appeal to him as a such, and at least that person should be capable of steering him so subtly he'd think the ideas were something he came up himself. That kind of person would be pretty hard to come by, let alone the fact it smells a bit fishy of an idea morally speaking, all that scheming behind his back and such. It's pretty sad actually, since being more able to cooperate storywise would help him greatly.

I suppose he's just a school example of the base reasoning I use in these kinds of situations; people tend to see the world only from their own perspective since it's already physically pretty hard to get inside of someone else's position (including the whole life-story, physical restrictions, emotional affectiveness and such). This pretty much means the only thing to compare the whole world to is through your own experiences. That means one can never really "know" other's reasons of doing stuff like they do and thus can sometimes do the exact thing themselves they accused/scolded others a second ago. And to me it seems like Penders stopped trying to figure others a long time ago and just runs with factory-settings. That's actually pretty sad.

He's basically blind to his own description, is what you're saying? I kinda get that, but while I feel there is some form of ignorance involved, I don't think all of it is genuine ignorance. Like, I do think there's a lot of aspects to this thing he honestly doesn't know or understand, but he's willfully ignoring any helpful criticism coming from both fans and fellow professionals and even insulting those same people who's at least TRYING to help steer him to the right path. All I can do really is just shake my head at everything he's done to this point.

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We just had a major bombshell dropped at 3 AM EST 12-31-16. Ken Penders appears to have said that the Legal Agreements between him and Archie Comics have been dissolved and the NDA will be broken soon (Or going by Penders time in about 12 years) though I could be wrong, and he means something else entirely.

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It's sad that whenever I see this topic has new posts, my mind inevitably goes to "what has he said now?", rather than "I wonder if there's something new about The Mary-Su Files."

Sadder is that I'm usually right.

Anyway, info about all this fun stuff we've sat through from Penders himself?

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B-EKZ0kCIAAtwzx.jpg

Look, I know it's not much for this, but everyone just take what you need for when it starts coming through.

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37 minutes ago, therealfalconpawnch77 said:

We just had a major bombshell dropped at 3 AM EST 12-31-16. Ken Penders appears to have said that the Legal Agreements between him and Archie Comics have been dissolved and the NDA will be broken soon (Or going by Penders time in about 12 years) though I could be wrong, and he means something else entirely.

Despite Archie not making use of any of your characters, not having reprints with your characters in it, so therefore they don't have royalities to pay you, so I find myself having to ask just one question.

WHAT. THE FUCK. IS HE. COMPLAINING ABOUT THIS TIME?!

Let me guess? "Oh, Archie didn't want anything to do with that Issue 300 deal, TIME TO GET SALTY AND BE A PRICK ABOUT IT!".

If he does end up doing something, I hope all of his nonsense over the past few years, including Fuckles gets called out just to show he isn't as in the right as he seems to believe he is.

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Guys do you not realize what he's saying? He's saying he's going to write a fucking Tell-All about how "Poorly" he was treated by Archie Comics in all his time there Wah Wah FEEL BAD FOR POOR OLD KEN!.

This is probably the funniest development to come out of this whole thing. Also have fun with the results of breaking your NDA there Kenny,

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Just now, SBR2 said:

Guys do you not realize what he's saying? He's saying he's going to write a fucking Tell-All about how "Poorly" he was treated by Archie Comics in all his time there Wah Wah FEEL BAD FOR POOR OLD KEN!.

This is probably the funniest development to come out of this whole thing. Also have fun with the results of breaking your NDA there Kenny,

Oh boy, this is gonna be fun if Penders truly thinks he'll get away with any of this.

It truly is sad, honestly. Despite all of his bluster, he still needs Archie to make any money. He's that fucking desperate to ride off their coattails.

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You know, the sad thing is I don't even really doubt the possibility that Archie pulled something- they're a pretty legitimately lousy company, and it wouldn't surprise me even after everything that happened that they're still refusing to clean up their act even when it comes to this guy. But his continued refusal to flat out state what they did in favor of this cryptic nonsense, in tandem with him recently going on about how Archie had extended an 'olive branch', just makes it sound like he's getting upset because things didn't pan out like he wanted. 

Statements like this don't help matters in the slightest.

Really now? A shame you couldn't have at some point or the other said that when you randomly brought up the possibility and cheerfully speculated over and over again about what you might do (Getting the hopes up of a few people who missed the pre-reboot in doing so). Yet throughout all of that, he couldn't bring himself to say "Oh it probably won't happen." 

Funny thing is, Tylinos called this when Penders first started spouting off his nonsense.

No, Ken, this is you once again setting up for the chance to say later that Archie didn't want to play ball in the end and it's all their fault, while still not mentioning the part where you want payment for the use of your characters. (Which Archie/Sega wouldn't get much of a return-on-investment from doing, except maybe as a one-off "HEY BUY THIS ISSUE" thing.)

And lo, Penders has more or less done precisely that. 

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On 12/26/2016 at 7:28 PM, horridus said:

 

tumblr_inline_nu22lhwZp21re1bwb_540.png

 

Yeesh, this art. I respect that this guy must work under some constraints but does he have to use those backgrounds? Isn't it kind of sad that the source images can be found with Google searches for "Night Sky" or" Lunar surface?" 

And yeah, Penders should try to avoid airing out his dirty laundry on twitter. It only makes him look bad, and he's only been pissing away his pity points. 

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1 hour ago, Captain Fun said:

Yeesh, this art. I respect that this guy must work under some constraints but does he have to use those backgrounds? Isn't it kind of sad that the source images can be found with Google searches for "Night Sky" or" Lunar surface?" 

And yeah, Penders should try to avoid airing out his dirty laundry on twitter. It only makes him look bad, and he's only been pissing away his pity points. 

Well see, that's kind of the problem- there *are* no constraints this time around. After several misfires in the past ("COMING SOON IN 2012!"), he no longer has a set release date for when this will finally be made. Even accounting for whatever employment he may have, he has plenty of time on his hands to do this and nobody supervising him at all. He has far fewer constraints now, and yet his work is increasingly lackluster. It's not 'kind of' sad, but *incredibly* sad. 

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12 hours ago, therealfalconpawnch77 said:

We just had a major bombshell dropped at 3 AM EST 12-31-16. Ken Penders appears to have said that the Legal Agreements between him and Archie Comics have been dissolved and the NDA will be broken soon (Or going by Penders time in about 12 years) though I could be wrong, and he means something else entirely.

If he actually goes ahead and publishes this book he's planning, he's getting his wig spit by lawyers, just like I said. Regardless of how you feel about Archie and their shady practices, an NDA is still an NDA, and it's bound by a legal contract. So unless there was a time limit on the NDA we don't know about, or Archie really did violate their part of the settlement (which is doubtful, but still likely), he's really asking to get his ass kicked in court.

I'm doubtful he'll lose the characters if he's found violating it, but he's gonna take a nasty hit in court either way, so it wouldn't make a difference.

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On Saturday, December 31, 2016 at 11:54 AM, horridus said:

A shame you couldn't have at some point or the other said that when you randomly brought up the possibility and cheerfully speculated over and over again about what you might do (Getting the hopes up of a few people who missed the pre-reboot in doing so). Yet throughout all of that, he couldn't bring himself to say "Oh it probably won't happen." 

Funny thing is, Tylinos called this when Penders first started spouting off his nonsense.

And lo, Penders has more or less done precisely that. 

You know, I at least figured it'd be a few more months or so before this happened, not two freaking weeks.  Even when I see Ken's reaction coming, he still surprises me.

Well, as long as I'm making wild predictions, here's another one: The "jaw-dropping" revelations Ken plans to write about will be mostly stuff we figured anyway about Archie being dicks, plus one or two things that are actually interesting.  I guess we'll find out for sure when he releases this tell-all book in 2021, when he's supposed to be working on TL-SC Volume 2.

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2021? That's a rather generous estimate for him to come out with volume 2. I had him pegged as releasing that one some time in 2030 :P

That aside though, we have yet another declaration of the comic's imminent doom. 

Really now. Even though they have months worth of previews lined up for upcoming books and have recently expanded the books by re-introducing the Super Special Magazines? These are the things a company does when they are ready to 'cut all ties'? Especially because Riverdale's success will somehow make them forget all about the comic they spent the last twenty years publishing?

At this rate, he's almost starting to sound desperate. I wonder if he even remembers that last year he said the book wouldn't last past 2016?

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