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

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15 hours ago, CleverSonicUsername said:

Also, I wouldn't view it as a "black mark" to have appreciated his work. The way I look at it, I still got something positive out of my experience with Archie Sonic back in the day. It introduced me to a medium I now routinely work in, and I can appreciate that even despite... you know, everything else.

Edit: Feel I should elaborate a tiny bit more on my first point, because I did say that I didn't want this for Penders. What I mean by that is, the Penders I built up back when I had a dumb idiot child's brain? I wish that man nothing but the best. But that's not who he is now, and it's very likely it's not who he ever was. If Penders, through all his toxicity, found success despite himself and despite his utter lack of talent, that would actually be kind of depressing. What I originally said about wanting him to find success, Archie and Sonic be damned? I mean that in the sense that I wanted that for a hypothetical version of Ken Penders that never has and never will exist. And maybe I'd like for the current Ken Penders to somehow metamorphose into that shiny-eye ideal of mine, but that's not gonna happen. He's way past the point of redemption in my eyes. I can't root for this man the way I wish I could.

I can't help but view it as precisely that, for me at least. See, in life, you gradually learn that the people you admire aren't as perfect as you once thought. This can vary by degrees- sometimes it means finding out they have flaws like anybody else, and sometimes it means they're simply awful. The thing is though, with all those other instances I can think of, I can at least say 'Yeah, they did something pretty amazing and their work IS good even if I can't really respect them like I used to'. With Penders though... it's just so clear that there's nothing to him, or his work, or his career. He's just an incompetent, mean spirited jerkweed who lucked out due to circumstances, and owes his entire career to that. Virtually his entire body of work is mediocre, sub-par... worse than that, it becomes painfully clear that he really DID just use someone else's comic as a vehicle for ideas he'd never get to use anywhere else. He honestly tried to use the book as a commercial for his own independent series, an offensive ripoff of the X-men at that. 

That's where it all becomes shameful for me. He's a parasite, and if this lawsuit never happened, I would have never realized it.

15 hours ago, ShadowSJG said:

Now he's claiming most fans don't come from the games, and are from other media, including comics. 

He's sad. He can't move on from Sonic.

And with the movie, he's bringing up his old project to try and be relevant.

This. How many deadlines has he missed?

It's a pretty standard issue argument from him. He's managed to convince himself that Archie sonic was this huge, international phenomena that exploded thanks to him, and is completely convinced that it is the most recognizable anything to come from Sonic. The fact that even at its peak it could never begin to match the sales or exposure of the games is something he prefers to not acknowledge. 

Trying to stay relevant, and very desperately trying to grasp at some kind of Sonic Fame over being 'the first' to try and get a movie done... nevermind that not only was he not the first, he may have actively sabotaged at least one of the prior attempts. 

As for the deadlines thing? All of 'em. Every time he's promised to release something of substance, he's fallen through. Guy can't keep a set schedule to save his life. 

14 hours ago, The Tenth Doctor said:

Hasn't Ken said comic books are not noticed now, that people only look at movies now? If so then I think we have Ken's biggest and most sourest hypocrisy yet.

Yeah, for such a professed fan of comic books, Penders really loves to trump television and movies over them. It gets to the point where it makes me wonder if what he really wanted to be was a scriptwriter, and only 'settled' on comics because he couldn't make it in TV/movies. 

And aye, it is indeed hypocritical of Penders, but its a pattern with him. Comics being ignored in favor of their film adaptations is perfectly fine... unless it means HIS comics are being ignored. Ian Flynn is to be derided because he came after Penders and based his works on what came before, but oh wait, its different when Ken's entire career is owed to a bunch of video games and a cartoon based upon said video games. Oh and of course, Creator's Rights is of paramount importance, but him infringing upon designs and concepts and trying to actively leech off the works of another Creator (namely SEGA), that's just fine and and dandy Because Of Reasons. 

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4 hours ago, RedFox99 said:

Can someone send me the link to the tweet of Ken saying he planned on releasing Lara su later this year?

He mentioned that the App and the first chapter would be ready for viewing within November/December, but has not given any mention about LSC in its entirety. Its still looking like he ain't gonna have squat before the year ends. 

 

 

1 hour ago, Scritch the Cat said:

This is almost surely hypothetical, but if someone else was to hire Penders, would he take the job and be better at meeting deadlines?

Penders has made it explicitly clear that he doesn't want to work under anyone anymore. Given that Archie and its lackluster oversight were part of the reason he was able to stay on board for years and years, I think the experience spoiled him in a way, and I really don't think even if he WAS hired by anyone now he'd be any better at meeting deadlines. He even admitted that Archie would publish stuff before it was really finished. That can't have been good for his wor kethic. 

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Man, I wish there was someplace that has collected Ken's Lara-Su Chronicles art pieces over the years. I love seeing how they started out looking fairly similar to SEGA-style Echidnas, before he began to morph them into the uncanny valley anthros they have become. It's crazy to see how little he's improved despite the amount of criticism he's gotten. It's even crazier to think how he's been drawing for 10-20? years now. I mean, I know that sometimes time or how much you've worked in the industry isn't necessarily and indicator of how good of an artist you are (I can think of a few people that this definitely applies to), but...still. I just hate how he shades. It makes everything look muddy and plastic. 

Also, I swear in these two pictures that the proportion of Lara-Su's head to her body is completely different. 

Spoiler

image.png.34fff4f05829b0e1bb0c3f0c9eb320a0.png image.png.72bf345cab4a31dc2990107905ca3669.png

 

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39 minutes ago, TideKai said:

Man, I wish there was someplace that has collected Ken's Lara-Su Chronicles art pieces over the years. I love seeing how they started out looking fairly similar to SEGA-style Echidnas, before he began to morph them into the uncanny valley anthros they have become. It's crazy to see how little he's improved despite the amount of criticism he's gotten. It's even crazier to think how he's been drawing for 10-20? years now. I mean, I know that sometimes time or how much you've worked in the industry isn't necessarily and indicator of how good of an artist you are (I can think of a few people that this definitely applies to), but...still. I just hate how he shades. It makes everything look muddy and plastic. 

Also, I swear in these two pictures that the proportion of Lara-Su's head to her body is completely different. 

  Hide contents

image.png.34fff4f05829b0e1bb0c3f0c9eb320a0.png image.png.72bf345cab4a31dc2990107905ca3669.png

 

Her hair doesn't consists with her dreadlocks , she looks like she is wearing a wig .

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1 hour ago, TideKai said:

Man, I wish there was someplace that has collected Ken's Lara-Su Chronicles art pieces over the years. I love seeing how they started out looking fairly similar to SEGA-style Echidnas, before he began to morph them into the uncanny valley anthros they have become. It's crazy to see how little he's improved despite the amount of criticism he's gotten. It's even crazier to think how he's been drawing for 10-20? years now. I mean, I know that sometimes time or how much you've worked in the industry isn't necessarily and indicator of how good of an artist you are (I can think of a few people that this definitely applies to), but...still. I just hate how he shades. It makes everything look muddy and plastic. 

Also, I swear in these two pictures that the proportion of Lara-Su's head to her body is completely different. 

  Hide contents

image.png.34fff4f05829b0e1bb0c3f0c9eb320a0.png image.png.72bf345cab4a31dc2990107905ca3669.png

 

Well, I'm not seeing the first picture- but I can without any hesitation tell you that no, it isn't just you. The proportions of the latter Lara-Su are indeed different from the other, in particular her neck being hideously extended. One of the most noteworthy things about this project is that Lara's exact proportions are never consistent from ad to ad or even from page to page in the supposed story. It lends credence to the theory that everything he makes has been made with rather vast amounts of time between them, hence why none of it is consistent- he's constantly changing his style within the amount of time that has passed. 

Regarding the degradation of his skill- when Penders first embarked on this inane ambition of his, I would imagine that at the time he did that, it hadn't occurred to him that making them so similar to SEGA Echidna would give SEGA ammunition to go after him if he were to ever try and make LSC a reality, hence the shift to the more 'realistic' styled anthropomorphs. Trouble is, the only thing Penders draws with any degree of actual skill (For a given definition of 'skill'- his motions have always been stiff and his perspective wonky) is realistic humans. He's never really been able to emulate the kind of tooniness of the Sonic style, and the current designs are an unnerving middle ground between the two, like the worst of both worlds... made all the worst because his skill has seriously stagnated and degraded over the years. 

Regarding the criticism, the thing of it is? Penders doesn't listen to criticism. At all. He claims he listened to 'legitimate criticism' and that he did such when he was given rejection letters, but given the sheer, intense hostility he demonstrates towards any kind of criticism at all its difficult to imagine that he actually did. It doesn't matter how someone puts it- if people are polite with them, he's politely dismissive back. If they're hostile or blunt, he rejects what they say outright. And no, it really doesn't matter if the critic demonstrates any kind of artistic skill of their own- he just says its 'not what he's going for' and comes up with whatever justification suits him at the time. This man is wholly hellbent on not listening to what others have to say. 

And you are correct that the amount of time someone works in an industry doesn't necessarily translate into skill, and Ken was more a writer for the book than an artist, as was his experiances prior to coming on board. The thing of it is though? An artist who keeps drawing, whether professionally or for their own enjoyment, will show SOME signs of improvement over time, even if its very small. Even Rob Liefeld, over the years, has gotten SLIGHTLY less sucky than he was when he began. Penders however has gotten far, far worse since his Archie days, made all the worse by the fact that he insists on doing digital coloring and inking even though he objectively has zero skill for it. His sketches and traditionally inked works look much, much better than the digital, but he insists on going digital rather than playing at his strengths. 

End result? A man who spent a decade on a book for a major comic company now demonstrates skills comparable to a middle schooler first trying to make a webcomic using photoshop in the 90s. Its almost miraculous. 

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3 hours ago, Gumbit said:

Her hair doesn't consists with her dreadlocks , she looks like she is wearing a wig .

Agreed, I also hate the way he colors it. It makes it look...not like hair, haha. Like it's just some plastic implant. But everything looks strangely plastic to me...like, I can't stress that enough. You know when plastic gets too hot and it kind of starts to warp? That's what it reminds me of.

2 hours ago, horridus said:

Well, I'm not seeing the first picture- but I can without any hesitation tell you that no, it isn't just you. The proportions of the latter Lara-Su are indeed different from the other, in particular her neck being hideously extended. One of the most noteworthy things about this project is that Lara's exact proportions are never consistent from ad to ad or even from page to page in the supposed story. It lends credence to the theory that everything he makes has been made with rather vast amounts of time between them, hence why none of it is consistent- he's constantly changing his style within the amount of time that has passed. 

Darn, I tend to have trouble posting pictures to the forum. But it's like you said...it's seen in so many of his pictures. I swear, Lara-Su's head changes size in relation to her body in almost every picture he draws of her. Same thing with her hair, I've noticed too. It's kind of a small difference, but it's enough to bother me. Her hair is drawn in different styles depending on the picture. Sometimes it's drawn very "fuzzy" and thick, and other times it's drawn very noodlely and less cartoonish (I'm sorry these are horrible descriptions). I can understand a character changing over time as an artist evolves, but it's like Penders switches back and forth between the two with no pattern.

And you know what the thing is? I tend to hesitate a bit when I want to criticize Penders because I am definitely not a professional. I like to draw, but I'm just an amateur hobbyist who is still struggling and trying to improve. I don't get even close to the amount of outputted work and experience that Penders has, so sometimes I wonder if it's hypocritical for me to talk and criticize his art when I am not an expert myself. But then I see some aspects of his art that just stick out so much to me. I know there's the whole debate about "it's just a different style" and "beauty is in the eye of beholder" and things like that, but I don't know...there are things about his art that I feel just aren't appealing at all and are objectively bad from a "this is supposed to be professional product intended for a mainstream audience" perspective.

2 hours ago, horridus said:

And you are correct that the amount of time someone works in an industry doesn't necessarily translate into skill, and Ken was more a writer for the book than an artist, as was his experiances prior to coming on board. The thing of it is though? An artist who keeps drawing, whether professionally or for their own enjoyment, will show SOME signs of improvement over time, even if its very small. Even Rob Liefeld, over the years, has gotten SLIGHTLY less sucky than he was when he began. Penders however has gotten far, far worse since his Archie days, made all the worse by the fact that he insists on doing digital coloring and inking even though he objectively has zero skill for it. His sketches and traditionally inked works look much, much better than the digital, but he insists on going digital rather than playing at his strengths. 

Haha, I was actually thinking of Rob Liefeld when I wrote that! I just didn't want to say names...but that's another thing that absolutely baffles me. I've seen Penders work on humans and other comics (and the Superman drawing that he posted on his Twitter about half a year ago) and I honestly think they look pretty good. And as badly written as people say Lost Ones is (I actually haven't read it myself, only seen a few panels/art pieces and know the general plot summary of it), I think the art of it looks good. I mean, I've read some published comics with some awful looking art that I couldn't believe got past quality control that looked much, much worse. There's also different aspects of even his Lara-Su art that I think looks okay, like basic anatomy and posing and things like that. It's just muddled down by all the bad things that just overwhelm it. Like you said, his sketches and inked works look so much better. There's actually a picture that he drew (I can't find it, unfortunately, so I hope I'm describing it okay so everyone knows what I'm talking about) that was a work in progress. It was inked and was beginning to have flat colors added to it, but it was Lara-Su laying down on a couch while talking to one of her ancestors(?). I hoenstly thought it didn't look too bad. The posing, layout, and general anatomy looked pretty good to me.

A little fun fact, I actually showed a friend some of Penders art on Star Trek and his Lara-Su chronicles stuff, and he was blown away by the fact they were drawn by the same guy. He would've sworn they were drawn by two different people.

There are so many little things that could be done that, while definitely not fixing the art completely, could at least improve it in some way. Like, I don't understand why he doesn't use outlines most of the time. His outlined art looks much better than when it's all a bunch of muddy and overly shiny colors blending together. Hell, why not hire someone to color it for him? He could still do literally every other aspect of the comic while having a superior colorist elevate his art to "passable" territory. It wouldn't fix everything, but I personally believe a polished turd is better than a regular turd.

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10 hours ago, TideKai said:

And you know what the thing is? I tend to hesitate a bit when I want to criticize Penders because I am definitely not a professional. I like to draw, but I'm just an amateur hobbyist who is still struggling and trying to improve. I don't get even close to the amount of outputted work and experience that Penders has, so sometimes I wonder if it's hypocritical for me to talk and criticize his art when I am not an expert myself. But then I see some aspects of his art that just stick out so much to me. I know there's the whole debate about "it's just a different style" and "beauty is in the eye of beholder" and things like that, but I don't know...there are things about his art that I feel just aren't appealing at all and are objectively bad from a "this is supposed to be professional product intended for a mainstream audience" perspective.

You should never feel like that. Whenever someone puts something out to the world, they're inviting others to judge it, whether its artwork, a book, a film or even food. It is only through the perspective of others that one can gain insight into what they're good at at what they're not, and improve themselves. By that logic, you're not allowed to dislike or feel anything at all is poorly done or bad, simply because by making it the other has 'put in more effort'. It doesn't take an expert actor to tell if another actor is bad, nor a gourmet chef to judge if a meal has been poorly made or not, and it certainly doesn't take a skilled artist to know a mediocre artist. If that were the case there'd be no point in having critics or any opinions of any sort- everything in the world would be judged purely by people with expertise in that area, and the rest of us would have no choice but to accept that regardless of how we actually feel. 

So no, you're not remotely hypocritical for feeling there's something off about his art. And keep in mind that being called a professional and actually BEING one are two different things. Penders' job lacked a great deal of oversight or enforced standards, and he was essentially able to glide through his career for years because nobody asked any better of him. Its why his art has degraded the way it has- he won't listen to anybody because he's gotten it into his head that his opinion as an artist and writer overrides that of his critics, regardless of how frequently certain criticisms come up. Because of that, he won't ever really be able to improve himself since he can't actually accept there's something wrong to begin with. 

10 hours ago, TideKai said:

Haha, I was actually thinking of Rob Liefeld when I wrote that! I just didn't want to say names...but that's another thing that absolutely baffles me. I've seen Penders work on humans and other comics (and the Superman drawing that he posted on his Twitter about half a year ago) and I honestly think they look pretty good. And as badly written as people say Lost Ones is (I actually haven't read it myself, only seen a few panels/art pieces and know the general plot summary of it), I think the art of it looks good. I mean, I've read some published comics with some awful looking art that I couldn't believe got past quality control that looked much, much worse. There's also different aspects of even his Lara-Su art that I think looks okay, like basic anatomy and posing and things like that. It's just muddled down by all the bad things that just overwhelm it. Like you said, his sketches and inked works look so much better. There's actually a picture that he drew (I can't find it, unfortunately, so I hope I'm describing it okay so everyone knows what I'm talking about) that was a work in progress. It was inked and was beginning to have flat colors added to it, but it was Lara-Su laying down on a couch while talking to one of her ancestors(?). I hoenstly thought it didn't look too bad. The posing, layout, and general anatomy looked pretty good to me.

A little fun fact, I actually showed a friend some of Penders art on Star Trek and his Lara-Su chronicles stuff, and he was blown away by the fact they were drawn by the same guy. He would've sworn they were drawn by two different people.

There are so many little things that could be done that, while definitely not fixing the art completely, could at least improve it in some way. Like, I don't understand why he doesn't use outlines most of the time. His outlined art looks much better than when it's all a bunch of muddy and overly shiny colors blending together. Hell, why not hire someone to color it for him? He could still do literally every other aspect of the comic while having a superior colorist elevate his art to "passable" territory. It wouldn't fix everything, but I personally believe a polished turd is better than a regular turd.

One thing you should take note of regarding Penders' art on past comics, the ones with realistic humans? A lot of them tend to look better due to the work of the inker. A good inker can easily make or break a piece of art, and as a consequence a lot of Penders 'best' looking works? Are almost entirely due to the inker rather than himself. 

Allow me to provide a sample, using something he worked on in the past. 

j37uUkme18UPJ64XdDmNrhvwTye-yWxOjgIWJ9SmvZM6gjTRcQacu6KrzZhbEkoIP4B_Uz_xp-1W=s1600

Take a good look at this page- this page was worked on by Penders, and hey, it doesn't look all that bad now does it? Why, it's downright skillful, especially compared to what he's been putting out with Lara-Su Chronicles as of late. The thing of it is though, Penders wasn't the only artist working on it- while he did the pencils, the actual INKS were done by an artist called Bob Downs. 

Now, let's take a look at something from this very same issue, something that was both penciled AND inked by Penders and Penders alone. 

lrXlCbexrq8kEj1C6O5fc9xRIFjSA3Vs_dUHqd4UhASY2B45lq0MjMXoyc_x1Yqi6Qh8aQxlsdrH=s1600

The difference in quality between the two is staggering. This is why, when perusing Penders' pre-Sonic art, you need to be very careful to find out who actually did the inkwork, because the difference between Penders' work and that of other artists is like night and day. If you ever wonder why a past bit of art of his looks spectacular compared to what he puts out now or even with Archie? Well, that there is the reason for it- someone else doing work to make his art more presentable. 

Likewise, as someone deeply, deeply unfortunate enough to actually read The Lost Ones, I can tell you that whatever you saw? Doesn't really reflect the general quality of the art in that book. Penders is better than an average person, but that doesn't change the fact he has difficulties in drawing motion and perspective, and the only really 'good' faces he draws are ones that are heavily references from real life models. As a consequence, a lot of the people he draws look wonky and off. His work is the kind of work that looks SUPERFICIALLY okay, but once you sit down and really look at it, the little flaws become harder and harder to ignore. And he STILL does that friggin thing where he uses photographs in lieu of actually drawing the background. Worse artists may have have been published, but that's really not an excuse for him to be as mediocre as he is. 

As for the story? I can promise you its objectively pretty lousy, but I won't get into it because this thing has meandered on enough. Let's just say that when given his own sandbox to play in, free to do whatever he wants, the same problems with his writing on Sonic crop up, beat for beat, topped off with a premise that is at once vaguely racist and deeply insensitive to the tragedy of another nation. 

As to your final question, well the answer there is multilayered. Answer the first is that Penders is deeply obsessed with appearing 'modern' and ahead of the curve and all that, and so he does digital coloring, inking and shading despite the fact he's far better at the traditional methods than he is with digital. Answer the second is that, it may simply be that because it is easier, Penders does it rather than make the effort with the old ways despite him being better at it. And answer the third, for why he doesn't hire anyone? Hiring a skilled, professional colorist/inker would cost a great deal of money, and Penders prefers to do this on the cheap.

Heck, he hired a board-member, @Adamis, to do French translations of the series due to him being a native speaker of the language  because it'd be cheaper and easier than hiring a professional service, despite Adamis being a vocal critic and even plublically embarassing him by pointing out the flaws in the initial French translation Penders released (with Penders defending the innacurate and poorly made take by claiming that it seemed off to Adamis because Adamis was Belgian rather than French. The French spoken in Belgium is identical to the French spoken in France proper, so you can see how this didn't even remotely work). Because he witnesses stuff before its properly posted on the twitter, Adamis' eyes die a little each day, and for that we salute him.  

So yeah, whatever strengths Penders' does have as an artist? He's not playing to them, whether out of misplaced pride, greed or simple laziness (or a combination of the three), and its clear he lacks the drive or work ethic to actually improve himself in a significant way. 

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33 minutes ago, horridus said:

You should never feel like that. Whenever someone puts something out to the world, they're inviting others to judge it, whether its artwork, a book, a film or even food. It is only through the perspective of others that one can gain insight into what they're good at at what they're not, and improve themselves. By that logic, you're not allowed to dislike or feel anything at all is poorly done or bad, simply because by making it the other has 'put in more effort'. It doesn't take an expert actor to tell if another actor is bad, nor a gourmet chef to judge if a meal has been poorly made or not, and it certainly doesn't take a skilled artist to know a mediocre artist. If that were the case there'd be no point in having critics or any opinions of any sort- everything in the world would be judged purely by people with expertise in that area, and the rest of us would have no choice but to accept that regardless of how we actually feel. 

So no, you're not remotely hypocritical for feeling there's something off about his art. And keep in mind that being called a professional and actually BEING one are two different things. Penders' job lacked a great deal of oversight or enforced standards, and he was essentially able to glide through his career for years because nobody asked any better of him. Its why his art has degraded the way it has- he won't listen to anybody because he's gotten it into his head that his opinion as an artist and writer overrides that of his critics, regardless of how frequently certain criticisms come up. Because of that, he won't ever really be able to improve himself since he can't actually accept there's something wrong to begin with. 

One thing you should take note of regarding Penders' art on past comics, the ones with realistic humans? A lot of them tend to look better due to the work of the inker. A good inker can easily make or break a piece of art, and as a consequence a lot of Penders 'best' looking works? Are almost entirely due to the inker rather than himself. 

Allow me to provide a sample, using something he worked on in the past. 

j37uUkme18UPJ64XdDmNrhvwTye-yWxOjgIWJ9SmvZM6gjTRcQacu6KrzZhbEkoIP4B_Uz_xp-1W=s1600

Take a good look at this page- this page was worked on by Penders, and hey, it doesn't look all that bad now does it? Why, it's downright skillful, especially compared to what he's been putting out with Lara-Su Chronicles as of late. The thing of it is though, Penders wasn't the only artist working on it- while he did the pencils, the actual INKS were done by an artist called Bob Downs. 

Now, let's take a look at something from this very same issue, something that was both penciled AND inked by Penders and Penders alone. 

lrXlCbexrq8kEj1C6O5fc9xRIFjSA3Vs_dUHqd4UhASY2B45lq0MjMXoyc_x1Yqi6Qh8aQxlsdrH=s1600

The difference in quality between the two is like night and day. This is why, when perusing Penders' pre-Sonic art, you need to be very careful to find out who actually did the inkwork, because the difference between Penders' work and that of other artists is like night and day. If you ever wonder why a past bit of art of his looks spectacular compared to what he puts out now or even with Archie? Well, that there is the reason for it- someone else doing work to make his art more presentable. 

Likewise, as someone deeply, deeply unfortunate enough to actually read The Lost Ones, I can tell you that whatever you saw? Doesn't really reflect the general quality of the art in that book. Penders is better than an average person, but that doesn't change the fact he has difficulties in drawing motion and perspective, and the only really 'good' faces he draws are ones that are heavily references from real life models. As a consequence, a lot of the people he draws look wonky and off. His work is the kind of work that looks SUPERFICIALLY okay, but once you sit down and really look at it, the little flaws become harder and harder to ignore. And he STILL does that friggin thing where he uses photographs in lieu of actually drawing the background. Worse artists may have have been published, but that's really not an excuse for him to be as mediocre as he is. 

As for the story? I can promise you its objectively pretty lousy, but I won't get into it because this thing has meandered on enough. Let's just say that when given his own sandbox to play in, free to do whatever he wants, the same problems with his writing on Sonic crop up, beat for beat, topped off with a premise that is at once vaguely racist and deeply insensitive to the tragedy of another nation. 

As to your final question, well the answer there is multilayered. Answer the first is that Penders is deeply obsessed with appearing 'modern' and ahead of the curve and all that, and so he does digital coloring, inking and shading despite the fact he's far better at the traditional methods than he is with digital. Answer the second is that, it may simply be that because it is easier, Penders does it rather than make the effort with the old ways despite him being better at it. And answer the third, for why he doesn't hire anyone? Hiring a skilled, professional colorist/inker would cost a great deal of money, and Penders prefers to do this on the cheap.

Heck, he hired a board-member, @Adamis, to do French translations of the series due to him being a native speaker of the language  because it'd be cheaper and easier than hiring a professional service, despite Adamis being a vocal critic and even plublically embarassing him by pointing out the flaws in the initial French translation Penders released (with Penders defending the innacurate and poorly made take by claiming that it seemed off to Adamis because Adamis was Belgian rather than French. The French spoken in Belgium is identical to the French spoken in France proper, so you can see how this didn't even remotely work). Because he witnesses stuff before its properly posted on the twitter, Adamis' eyes die a little each day, and for that we salute him.  

So yeah, whatever strengths Penders' does have as an artist? He's not playing to them, whether out of misplaced pride, greed or simple laziness (or a combination of the three), and its clear he lacks the drive or work ethic to actually improve himself in a significant way. 

Okay, I have to ask. What is up with his/her eye color in the second comic? It's that just based on his/her mood or what?

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19 minutes ago, Ruomarta said:

Okay, I have to ask. What is up with his/her eye color in the second comic? It's that just based on his/her mood or what?

Presumably its a result of touching that little magical bauble. This issue is an annual with multiple stories, and the framing device for them is that these kids are witnessing them through that magical stone the old man has. When the kid touched it, the magic made their eyes go funky for a moment. 

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2 hours ago, horridus said:

You should never feel like that. Whenever someone puts something out to the world, they're inviting others to judge it, whether its artwork, a book, a film or even food. It is only through the perspective of others that one can gain insight into what they're good at at what they're not, and improve themselves. By that logic, you're not allowed to dislike or feel anything at all is poorly done or bad, simply because by making it the other has 'put in more effort'. It doesn't take an expert actor to tell if another actor is bad, nor a gourmet chef to judge if a meal has been poorly made or not, and it certainly doesn't take a skilled artist to know a mediocre artist. If that were the case there'd be no point in having critics or any opinions of any sort- everything in the world would be judged purely by people with expertise in that area, and the rest of us would have no choice but to accept that regardless of how we actually feel. 

Thank you horridus, I appreciate it. 👍 Sometimes people pull out the "Well, can you do better?" card and I never know how to respond to it because most of the time I couldn't do better. And I'm always worried that a critic will find a piece of my art and then tout all the flaws I have. I don't know, I guess I'm weird, haha.

2 hours ago, horridus said:

One thing you should take note of regarding Penders' art on past comics, the ones with realistic humans? A lot of them tend to look better due to the work of the inker. A good inker can easily make or break a piece of art, and as a consequence a lot of Penders 'best' looking works? Are almost entirely due to the inker rather than himself. 

Allow me to provide a sample, using something he worked on in the past. 

[snipped picture]

Take a good look at this page- this page was worked on by Penders, and hey, it doesn't look all that bad now does it? Why, it's downright skillful, especially compared to what he's been putting out with Lara-Su Chronicles as of late. The thing of it is though, Penders wasn't the only artist working on it- while he did the pencils, the actual INKS were done by an artist called Bob Downs. 

Now, let's take a look at something from this very same issue, something that was both penciled AND inked by Penders and Penders alone. 

[snipped picture #2]

The difference in quality between the two is like night and day. This is why, when perusing Penders' pre-Sonic art, you need to be very careful to find out who actually did the inkwork, because the difference between Penders' work and that of other artists is like night and day. If you ever wonder why a past bit of art of his looks spectacular compared to what he puts out now or even with Archie? Well, that there is the reason for it- someone else doing work to make his art more presentable. 

Oh wow, that's crazy. It is like night and day, haha. It makes it all the more tragic that he's refuses to work with other people. His art really benefits from another person elevating it. And honestly, there's nothing wrong with understanding your strengths and playing to them, like you said. I mean, yeah, it's cool to have the ability to do so many things in a comic instead of doing one thing, but there's a reason people do that. It's just the whole deal of "jack of all trades, master of none." (I also feel that having multiple people doing different things makes the comic go by faster...we all know Penders working on almost everything by himself is not helping him work faster).

I've been trying to find a scan or something of The Lost Ones, but I unfortunately can't. I'm thinking that maybe the panels I saw were just the really good ones or the best ones to showcase? I want to see it fully so that way I can judge better and maybe even look at the bad story (I hear it's just a poor man's X-Men). I found this page from someone who was doing a review of it on their tumblr:

Spoiler

image

And it honestly looks good to me. I mean, not fantastic or anything that belongs in a museum, but it looks clean and crisp and not horribly off-model like his Sonic art. And while I hate the cover (definitely feels like it suffers from a bad case of "graphic design is my passion" and the REAL PHOTOGRAPHIC BACKGROUND WHY), I still say it's leagues above the clusterfuck that is the cover to Shattered Tomorrows. Then again, I'm kind of weird when it comes to comic art. As long as it doesn't look something like this, I'm generally okay with it.

Spoiler

  image.png.105f725149db69226be52106b7e774c7.png

(Panel from Captain America Vol 2. #3, Marvel Comics, taken from the Escher Girls tumblr, which I highly recommend for all your horribly drawn comic women needs)

 

2 hours ago, horridus said:

As to your final question, well the answer there is multilayered. Answer the first is that Penders is deeply obsessed with appearing 'modern' and ahead of the curve and all that, and so he does digital coloring, inking and shading despite the fact he's far better at the traditional methods than he is with digital. Answer the second is that, it may simply be that because it is easier, Penders does it rather than make the effort with the old ways despite him being better at it. And answer the third, for why he doesn't hire anyone? Hiring a skilled, professional colorist/inker would cost a great deal of money, and Penders prefers to do this on the cheap.

Heck, he hired a board-member, @Adamis, to do French translations of the series due to him being a native speaker of the language  because it'd be cheaper and easier than hiring a professional service, despite Adamis being a vocal critic and even plublically embarassing him by pointing out the flaws in the initial French translation Penders released (with Penders defending the innacurate and poorly made take by claiming that it seemed off to Adamis because Adamis was Belgian rather than French. The French spoken in Belgium is identical to the French spoken in France proper, so you can see how this didn't even remotely work). Because he witnesses stuff before its properly posted on the twitter, Adamis' eyes die a little each day, and for that we salute him.  

 That literally makes no sense to me. It's like a plumber suddenly becoming a carpenter because he wants to stay ahead of the curve, despite the fact that he's never done any carpentering at all in his life and has more skill as plumber. Penders has his strengths and he has his weaknesses, just like many, many artists and creators out there. And if he can't afford to hire someone, then he should at least practice a bit before deciding he's going to release something for the purpose of getting money. I know I would never just go ahead and make a comic and sell it as my skill is right now. I still need to improve, and there's no shame in admitting that. Some people have made amazing things on tiny budgets, because they know their limits and can work either within them or work to stretch them. But as we've established, Penders has an ego the size of a mountain.

That's what reeeally gets to me sometimes, especially after reading the story with Adamis. Penders could save himself so much hassle if he would just stoop down and apologize once in a while. Just a quick little, "I'm sorry, I made a mistake and I didn't mean to. I'll make sure to fix this. I meant no disrespect and I thank you for your assistance." Boom. Done. I sometimes feel like Penders acts the way he does on purpose just to stir something up, because there's so many times that I've seen where Penders could have taken an easier route out, but he always has to say something or do something that just causes more troubles than it seems to be worth. Part of me wonders if he's dong this on purpose to generate some kind of publicity for his art? I mean, tons of people hate Twilight and that's half the reason why they became so popular. 

[NOTE: I'm having trouble again posting the pictures. If you can't see them, let me know and I'll post links to them instead.]

 

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2 hours ago, TideKai said:

Thank you horridus, I appreciate it. 👍 Sometimes people pull out the "Well, can you do better?" card and I never know how to respond to it because most of the time I couldn't do better. And I'm always worried that a critic will find a piece of my art and then tout all the flaws I have. I don't know, I guess I'm weird, haha.

Yeah, word of wisdom? People who pull THAT card in response to criticism of any sort are precisely the sort of people who don't really accept any kind of critical thought being applied to their work and more concerned about 'proving' they are good than they are at actually doing anything to improve or refine themselves. And its not weird, really- putting something up to be critiqued, criticized and analyzed can be a discouraging experience, but in the end its necessary to improve. Sure, there's always going to be people who are unhelpful or even mean-spirited, but learning who is giving good advice versus someone who wants to tear you down for the heck of it is just part of the growing experience. 

2 hours ago, TideKai said:

I've been trying to find a scan or something of The Lost Ones, but I unfortunately can't. I'm thinking that maybe the panels I saw were just the really good ones or the best ones to showcase? I want to see it fully so that way I can judge better and maybe even look at the bad story (I hear it's just a poor man's X-Men). I found this page from someone who was doing a review of it on their tumblr:

And it honestly looks good to me. I mean, not fantastic or anything that belongs in a museum, but it looks clean and crisp and not horribly off-model like his Sonic art. And while I hate the cover (definitely feels like it suffers from a bad case of "graphic design is my passion" and the REAL PHOTOGRAPHIC BACKGROUND WHY), I still say it's leagues above the clusterfuck that is the cover to Shattered Tomorrows. Then again, I'm kind of weird when it comes to comic art. As long as it doesn't look something like this, I'm generally okay with it.

I have an RAR file of the book from way, way back in the day. I should say, the poor quality of the colors is due to the scanner that was used for the pictures. Whatever else is wrong with this book, THAT one isn't it. As such though, I'll share a few other pages-

Spoiler

B8vrTVr.jpg

A fight scene that is at once stiff and chaotic...

Spoiler

orVlGSi.jpg

The ultimate denoument of the book, hinting at the origin of Particle's powers... featuring a photograph of actual atomic bomb test footage. 

Spoiler

GuQpKYk.jpg

The unnamed villain who spent all his time monologuing about vague things. Yeah, Penders seems to really enjoy Shadowy Figures Commenting On Stuff WHile Not Involving Themselves In The Actual Story. Love the jumbo sized boots there... and no, we don't learn anything about him or why he's doing this here either. The only reason we know he's called 'Dr. Droid' is because his name was mentioned on his forum. 

Spoiler

vfoxgFk.jpg

And finally, Penders demonstrating how far back his love of using photographs goes, while also failing to make a child look much like any kind of child. 

The art is, at best, deeply mediocre, made all the worse because even back then Penders insisted on doing that weird style of shading and digital inking he uses, the one that makes everyone look like they're glistening with grease. As for the story itself? It is melodramatic, pretentious and meandering, with an achingly slow build up that has no real payoff. The intended themes are derivative of X-Men in the extreme, with a premise that essentially amounts to 'What If The Descendents of Hiroshima Survivors Got Powers', a frankly odious conceit that betrays a great deal of insensitivity and ignorance given what the REAL descendents of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors got for their trouble. 

2 hours ago, TideKai said:

That's what reeeally gets to me sometimes, especially after reading the story with Adamis. Penders could save himself so much hassle if he would just stoop down and apologize once in a while. Just a quick little, "I'm sorry, I made a mistake and I didn't mean to. I'll make sure to fix this. I meant no disrespect and I thank you for your assistance." Boom. Done. I sometimes feel like Penders acts the way he does on purpose just to stir something up, because there's so many times that I've seen where Penders could have taken an easier route out, but he always has to say something or do something that just causes more troubles than it seems to be worth. Part of me wonders if he's dong this on purpose to generate some kind of publicity for his art? I mean, tons of people hate Twilight and that's half the reason why they became so popular. 

[NOTE: I'm having trouble again posting the pictures. If you can't see them, let me know and I'll post links to them instead.]

 

Its been theorized that perhaps Penders IS trying to court negative publicity in the hopes that simple bile fascination will be able to land him an extra number of buyers. Trouble is, that only really works if you already have people buying to begin with. Harry Potter and Twilight both already had fanbases to begin with before they came to national attention with negative publicity for their content propelling their sales further. Outside of Sonic fans, nobody really knows who Penders is or that Lara-Su Chronicles is ever going to be a thing (which it may not). See, for every lousy book that seems to succeed despite its quality issues, thanks to negative publicity? There are a multitudes of lousy books that do not succeed. At all. Frankly, I don't think Penders WANTS to succeed that way. He wants to be praised and admired and told how much better he is than Flynn and Archie, and negative publicity gets him none of that. No, the simple truth is that he's an arrogant, thin skinned man whose first instinct about being contradicted or shown to be wrong is to dig in and ignore everyone while continuing to act as though he's in the right. 

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3 hours ago, TideKai said:

 

I've been trying to find a scan or something of The Lost Ones, but I unfortunately can't. I'm thinking that maybe the panels I saw were just the really good ones or the best ones to showcase? I want to see it fully so that way I can judge better and maybe even look at the bad story (I hear it's just a poor man's X-Men). I found this page from someone who was doing a review of it on their tumblr:

  Hide contents

image

And it honestly looks good to me. I mean, not fantastic or anything that belongs in a museum, but it looks clean and crisp and not horribly off-model like his Sonic art. And while I hate the cover (definitely feels like it suffers from a bad case of "graphic design is my passion" and the REAL PHOTOGRAPHIC BACKGROUND WHY), I still say it's leagues above the clusterfuck that is the cover to Shattered Tomorrows. 

 

 

3 minutes ago, horridus said:

 

I have an RAR file of the book from way, way back in the day. I should say, the poor quality of the colors is due to the scanner that was used for the pictures. Whatever else is wrong with this book, THAT one isn't it. As such though, I'll share a few other pages-

  Hide contents

B8vrTVr.jpg

A fight scene that is at once stiff and chaotic...

  Hide contents

orVlGSi.jpg

The ultimate denoument of the book, hinting at the origin of Particle's powers... featuring a photograph of actual atomic bomb test footage. 

  Hide contents

GuQpKYk.jpg

The unnamed villain who spent all his time monologuing about vague things. Yeah, Penders seems to really enjoy Shadowy Figures Commenting On Stuff WHile Not Involving Themselves In The Actual Story. Love the jumbo sized boots there... and no, we don't learn anything about him or why he's doing this here either. The only reason we know he's called 'Dr. Droid' is because his name was mentioned on his forum. 

  Hide contents

vfoxgFk.jpg

And finally, Penders demonstrating how far back his love of using photographs goes, while also failing to make a child look much like any kind of child. 

The art is, at best, deeply mediocre, made all the worse because even back then Penders insisted on doing that weird style of shading and digital inking he uses, the one that makes everyone look like they're glistening with grease. As for the story itself? It is melodramatic, pretentious and meandering, with an achingly slow build up that has no real payoff. The intended themes are derivative of X-Men in the extreme, with a premise that essentially amounts to 'What If The Descendents of Hiroshima Survivors Got Powers', a frankly odious conceit that betrays a great deal of insensitivity and ignorance given what the REAL descendents of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors got for their trouble. 

 

Oh my goodness, THAT's the Lost Ones?

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3 minutes ago, DabigRG said:

 

Oh my goodness, THAT's the Lost Ones?

Four pages of it, anyway. And again I gotta say this- those awful, faded colors are due to the scanner, and the book itself likely had better coloring than that at least. Everything else tho is all Penders. 

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Just now, horridus said:

Four pages of it, anyway. And again I gotta say this- those awful, faded colors are due to the scanner, and the book itself likely had better coloring than that at least. Everything else tho is all Penders. 

Oh, okay.

Still, that third page, tho. Also, why is that guy from Xfiles(?) there?

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