Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

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Crazy Penguin
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Re: Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

Post by Crazy Penguin »

Esrever wrote:Sure! But if Archie's tremendous business sense is bringing in heaps of cash for them, they certainly aren't passing any of it down to their creatives, who are the pretty much the lowest paid in the industry.
Yeah. It sucks, the lack of royalties in particular, but they seem to be pretty upfront about it.

The one area I can sympathise with is Penders getting no recognition, monetary or otherwise, when BioWare used a very thinly veiled version of the Dark Legion in Sonic Chronicles. But at the same time, that's the biz!

And it really doesn't help when he then proceeds to say:
Ken Penders wrote:And before anyone asks, yes, Scourge is also off-limits as he is derived from a character I created. (I may not be able to use that character either in this instance, but that doesn't mean SEGA gets automatic ownership either, given the current circumstances.)
(Scourge the Hedgehog, who debuted after Penders was fired, is a re-named/re-designed version of Evil Sonic - Sonic with shades and a leather jacket.)

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Re: Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

Post by MiraiTails »

If all Penders' characters were removed from the comic, that might help them focus more on the core characters. The book is too crowded.
They've rebooted Spider-Man and others... I wish they'd do the same for Sonic.

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Re: Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

Post by Crowbar »

Ken Penders wrote:And before anyone asks, yes, Scourge is also off-limits as he is derived from a character I created.
Who, Sonic?

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Re: Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

Post by CM August »

He may as well claim ownership of Eggman too, who is similarly an alternate-reality knockoff.

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Re: Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

Post by Locit »

Crazy Penguin wrote:(Scourge the Hedgehog, who debuted after Penders was fired, is a re-named/re-designed version of Evil Sonic - Sonic with shades and a leather jacket.)
What did they fire him over, anyway?

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Re: Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

Post by Rob-Bert »

Ken Penders is starting to sound like the Sonic equivalent of Floro Dery, some dude who did minor design work on the Transformers G1 cartoon then went on to claim he "created" all the familiar Transformers characters.

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Re: Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

Post by G.Silver »

More on Floro Dery. I had to know! After reading one of his interviews he does sound a little on the crazy side.

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Re: Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

Post by RocketPunch »

Ken Penders wrote:And before anyone asks, yes, Scourge is also off-limits as he is derived from a character I created.
And Evil Sonic is derived from Sonic, so there you go.

The sad thing is, this sense of entitlement and ownership of derivative fan characters is extremely prevalent in the artistic community (or USED to be, back when I participated in that fuckery). I've actually seen artists threaten to pursue legal action against other artists for "copying" their Sonic recolor. The delusional fan apple doesn't fall far from the delusional fan tree in this case.

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Re: Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

Post by cjmcray »

Penders has gone totally batshit fucking crazy.

Not only is his legal battle with Archie still ongoing, but now he's suing SEGA, the very company that created Sonic the Hedgehog in the first place for copyright infringement. (Oh, and EA too!)

http://www.tssznews.com/2011/06/01/ken- ... onic-arts/

He claims that Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood had a very similar storyline and set of characters to his own short-lived Knuckles comic series.

I can understand Penders anger over the situation, having created his own storyline and arc for these characters, only to have another company, (BioWare, later purchased by EA) rip him off. But he didn't create the Sonic franchise, so he has no right to even consider legal action. The Archie comics are pretty much just published fanfiction.

This will not end well for him.

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Re: Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

Post by Delphine »

It's obvious the man has no creativity left (had he any to begin with) as any other professional creative would wash their hands of this nonsense and move on to bigger and better things.

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Re: Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

Post by G.Silver »

The image of Penders that this has painted for me is one of real desperation. Apparently all his bad-talk about Archie got Archie to turn around and counter-sue him, and then we got this:
The other disclosure Penders makes in the conclusion is more personal and more sobering. It involves the current motion to dismiss his attorney has prepared, on account of a lack of jurisdiction. Penders says he is too poor to make the trip to New York for a trial. Penders says, as of the date of the affidavit, he has less than $500 in his bank account and “limited liquid assets”–potentially making travel costs an issue.
He was either lying for pity points or in a really, really bad place. Whether or not he has any creativity or the ability to execute his creative ideas, I found it really surprising because he has managed to get himself work with other companies on other franchises in the past. Is he a victim of the economy, or--and I say this without meaning to be hurtful--did he become completely unhirable? I'm really curious about how anyone in his previous position could have ended up in a place where his best option was to sue Archie over something that seems so laughable. What happened, Ken?

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Re: Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

Post by Zeta »

It is kind of fucked up how SEGA and Bioware basically took the plotline and characters he created, alter the names slightly, and didn't even financially compensate him.

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Re: Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

Post by Radrappy »

Was it really that similar?

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Re: Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

Post by Zeta »

Yes, the entire game was basically an adaptation of Pender's run on the Knuckles the Echidna comics. Shade, Imperatore Ix, and the Nocturnus were basically just Julie-Su, Fintevus, and the Dark Legion with their names changed. Even if they don't owe him the rights to those characters, they owe him money for being a "writer" or "original concept" contributor to Sonic Chronicles.

TV Tropes, at least claims that a Bioware employee fessed up and admitted they set out to adapt Penders' Knuckles comics.

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Re: Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

Post by Crowbar »

Not surprising given that they also stole fan-made midis for the music.

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Re: Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

Post by K2J »

And didn't finish the game.

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Re: Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

Post by John Pannozzi »

Esrever wrote: Also, Archie IS pretty much the worst mainstream comic publisher in America. It's horrifying that they don't pay royalties to their creators when their work is republished.
Unfortunately, Marvel does the exact same thing most of the time. Anyone else interested in the issue of Creators' rights?

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Re: Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

Post by Malchik »

I can honestly understand why companies such as Marvel and Archie write contracts to pay a lump sum for a character instead of giving royalties. Since comics now have life-long interest in them, long after the initial run, it becomes very difficult to pay these artists decades later with what little sum of cash they get for reprints. I think these left-field tactics are in use because it's an annoyance to deal with artists, especially when dealing with their estates when they are dead and buried.

Now, I'd much rather have revenue pop in my bank account everyone and while, but usually all corporations like to be done with their employees when they have left.

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Re: Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

Post by gr4yJ4Y »

Malchik wrote:Now, I'd much rather have revenue pop in my bank account everyone and while, but usually all corporations like to be done with their employees when they have left.
Even though I don't work at Borders any more, it sure would be nice if they paid me regularly for that register that I hooked up. They still use it. EVERY DAY. I should sue.

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Re: Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

Post by G.Silver »

gr4yJ4Y wrote:Even though I don't work at Borders any more, it sure would be nice if they paid me regularly for that register that I hooked up. They still use it. EVERY DAY. I should sue.
That sounds like a joke but a lot of retail equipment works that way, especially for credit processing. In addition to the cut that the credit card companies take out of every transaction, they also like to rent out the equipment that does the processing, or lease to own, or whatever, but they'll always tell you that you lose your warranty as soon as the lease is up, so it's "better" to keep leasing new equipment as it comes out so you'll always have support. It's an impressive racket they have going on.

Though how long will Borders really be using it at the rate they're going, right?

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Re: Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

Post by Frieza2000 »

So apparently there was a settlement that involves some characters no longer being used in the comics.
tssz wrote:What eventually followed after a series of open remarks was a federal lawsuit filed by Archie against Penders, seeking a declaratory judgment on the validity of Penders’s copyrights. A motion by Penders to dismiss the case was denied early on, but so too was a motion for summary judgment sought by Archie earlier this year. In between, what unraveled was nothing short of extraordinary; Penders revealed plans to revive Lara-Su, Lien-Da, Dimitri and other characters in a series of his own, while court documents told an alleged tale of dysfunctional leadership and lackluster record-keeping at Archie–all while veteran Sonic comic talent lined up to stake their claim in the series, and vouch for their former colleague.

Several weeks may pass before the agreement is finalized, and we may never know the terms of them; it is common practice for settlements, especially on this scale, to never reach public record. While Penders appears steadfast on introducing The Lara-Su Chronicles to the world, Archie has de-emphasized several of Penders’s original creations of late.

Even with the Penders case settled, the legal troubles may not be over for Archie. Original Sonic artist Scott Shaw is among several comic alum who have also filed claims with the US Copyright Office, and had their original contributions to the Sonic comics accepted. It remains to be seen what will happen there; the distinct possibility remains that it could depend on this case’s final outcome.
So "dysfunctional leadership and lackluster record-keeping" left enough ambiguity for his claim of ownership to be passable? That's pretty amazing. I doubt he'll have as much luck with Sega or Bioware if he goes after them for Sonic Chronicles or the appearance of some comic scans in Sonic Mega Collection.

Also, someone claiming to be Scott Shaw wrote in the comments:
Scott Shaw! wrote:At this point, I’m really not able to go into details, but please understand this: I now legally own ALL of the content I created for Archie’s SONIC THE HEDGEHOG and related funnybooks. All of this work has been reprinted multiple times, not only in print but on iTunes and as Easter eggs in various Sonic games. I never signed any releases or work-for-hire agreements with Archie or Sega and I’ve never been paid a cent for this unauthorized use of my work.

Therefore, it’s gonna be a very interesting 2013 for all involved.

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Re: Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

Post by G.Silver »

dysfunctional leadership and lackluster record-keeping
Maybe it isn't that surprising that this happened. I bet at the time they never even considered the possibility that any of the Sonic comics would be reprinted, no need to take things too seriously for what no one at the time expected to actually go anywhere. (I'm sure I read somewhere that no one expected it to last very long?) They were already re-running old Archie material in their digest magazines (both recent and older ones) so you'd think they'd have been used to keeping track of this kind of thing.

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Re: Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

Post by Yami CJMErl »

I guess this explains why the most recent Archie story has essentially gotten rid of every last remaining echidna in the series that isn't Knuckles.

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Re: Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

Post by Ritz »

Now I haven't really been following this, but it seems like they've created a new character- "Thrash the Devil"- with the sole explicit purpose of Auschwitzing echidnas. That is so funny.

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Re: Ken Penders owns a bunch of Sonic's shitty sidekicks

Post by Malchik »

Why did they have to make the Tasmania Devil look similar to a muscle-bound echidna?

Ah well, I always kinda felt bad for old Ken. He had great aspirations, but usually Sega or Archie would remind him he's writing for a video game advertisement now do this. But in the end, he kind of shot himself in the foot, didn't he? He worked hard to create a world full of new ideas and characters, and then completely destroyed it by ensuring no other writer could ever use them for the Sonic Comic ever again. But maybe he simply wants to at least make some more money from them at this point, I don't know.

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