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"Sonic The Hedgehog" Comic Book Series Talkback (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Comic Book Culture' started by Cool Blue, Feb 14, 2004.

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  1. zakfett92

    zakfett92 Guest

    Fellow fans of the Sonic the Hedgehog comic, I write this entry in order to make a difference in the comic’s future. As you all know, most of the fans have heard by now of the lawsuit between Ken Penders and Archie Comics over the use of his characters. Whether Ken Penders was in the right or not is not the issue however. What matters is Archie’s stance on not using his characters.

    Like many of you, I thought that Ken Penders was to blame because he was holding his characters back. Having enjoyed the comic for years, I was devastated. Like many of you no doubt have, I grew to love the original characters he created. Sure, Ian Flynn may not have developed them as Ken would have, but at least they were still around and would probably go in the right direction eventually. But the idea of never seeing any of those characters again is intolerable. And not only would we never see them again, but the comic would act as if they, along with 20 years of Sonic mythos, never happened in the first place. Just so some of you get a proper grasp of the situation, here’s a short list of characters we’ll never see again if Archie has its way:


    Julie-Su, Elias Acorn, any Dark Legion characters, all of Knuckles’ family, Sonic’s parents, Rob o’ the Hedge, Remington, the extended wolf pack, Saffron, Fiona Fox, Geoffrey and Hershey St. John, Lara-Su


    Not willing to let this stand, I went directly to Ken Penders to try to get him to loosen his grip on his characters. The results of our conversation you can read below:


    [FONT=&quot]Dear Mr. Penders,

    Hello, Mr. Penders. My name is Zachary Kaplan. I've been reading the Sonic comics ever since the age of ten and am a huge fan. Or at least, I was. Which brings me to why I'm writing this email. At the expense of possibly sounding rude, I must speak my mind because I feel it's the right thing to do.

    I want to know what the hell you think you're doing. Because of this whole lawsuit business, we'll never see any of the characters you made in the comic again. No Dark Legion, no Elias, no Geoffrey, NO JULIE-SU!!!!!!!!! My God, you took away Knuckles' and Sonic's parents, for crying out loud!!! How are they supposed to explain that. And to top it all off, you've now rendered over 15 years of story meaningless because now they have to act like those characters never existed. Why should any of us old fans keep reading now that everything we've come to love has been destroyed?

    And for what?

    Because you wanted more money? Because you couldn't just let your characters go? Was that really all that mattered to you? Even if you did create them, I don't see how that gives you the right to just steal them back out of the blue. These characters have had such an impact on the comic that they've outgrown belonging to any one person, even their creator. If Walt Disney was around today and he decided to leave the business, do you think he would try to take Mickey Mouse with him?

    And before you start talking about your "Lara-Su Chronicles", save it. I don't care about that, and neither does anyone else. And if you think its gonna be a big success, you're only fooling yourself; which you'd know if you bothered listening to the fans. Even if people did read it, they wouldn't see new characters with new original stories. All they would see is old Sonic characters that were taken from them and are now being recycled by someone who doesn't know any better.

    That's pretty much all I've got to say on the subject. The comic is in ruins and we'll never see your characters in a "proper" comic again, and from where I'm standing it's all your fault. I don't know what has to be done to make you give your characters back, but I strongly suggest you figure out what if saving the comic means anything to you. There has to be some sentimentality under your money-grubbing exterior; and I sincerely hope you find it before it's too late.

    Thank you for your time.

    Sincerely,
    Zachary Kaplan[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Zachary, [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Let's imagine you're someone who grew up wanting to be a writer, an artist, a musician, a filmmaker, whatever. You took courses to learn what you needed in order to become someone who could make a living doing what you love. Now imagine doing that work for a number of years and seeing others get money for the work instead of you. You wouldn't like it and that's what essentially happened here. If Archie and/or Sega had paid even a small amount in royalties, none of what happened would have happened.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]But companies aren't like that in this day and age. More often than not, it's the people at the top of the food chain who benefit the most at the expense of those who actually did the work and brought value to the companies simply because they can. And the only way the people who actually do the work can correct the situation is if they fight back in some manner, whether it be a strike or some legal action.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]As you may know, Archie and I have resolved our differences, and as a result, they are able to use my characters. However, THEY choose NOT to. Why? That's not for me to speculate as that's an internal business decision and their right.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]As for those stories and characters you grew up on, you'll always have those, just as I have the stories I grew up on. However, as I have learned over the years, especially so during the past decade, even the characters I grew up on have changed much as the SONIC book as changed on you. So the new STAR TREK is nothing like the original to me. And yes, in a way, I'm sad over that. But I still have the original Trek stories I grew up on and no one can take those away from me.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]In all honesty, the book was never going to develop the library of characters I created anyway, so readers were really never going to experience their true potential unless someone did something with them.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Archie had a chance to resolve the situation many times where they would have control over these characters, yet ended up not doing so for whatever reason. I was able to reclaim my characters under current copyright laws, and now intend to feature the characters as they should have been shown.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]If you really love the characters, you may end up surprising yourself checking out THE LARA-SU CHRONICLES. If you still feel the characters belong in SONIC and nowhere else, I understand and wish you well. Take care.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Best,[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Ken Penders[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Dear Mr. Penders,

    I think apologies are in order; my apologies, that is. It appears that due to how distraught I was over this whole matter, and a certain amount of misinformation, I ended up getting angry at the wrong person. Instead of lashing out at you, I should have been doing it at Archie. I'm sorry if I seemed rude. I was simply doing what I felt was right. I had thought that if you were the one holding the characters back, I might be able to guilt you into letting them go. Looks like I have another email to send; this one aimed at the right target. Though the idea of guilting an entire company into using your characters does seem a much harder task. But, for the sake how much the comic means to myself, and others, I feel that I have to try. The idea of Sonic the Hedgehog, not only without your characters, but acting as if they never existed, is intolerable. I really don't know how they expect to pull it off. Hell, after all this chaos, Knuckles has, in one fell swoop, been rendered:

    1) parentless
    2) girlfriendless
    3) future daughterless
    4) speciesless

    I think the only echidna characters besides him that you didn't create are Dr. Finitevas and maybe Grandfather Athair. And there were many other main characters who lost family members due to this debacle. Sonic lost both his parents; Sally lost her mother and brother (and in turn Mobius lost it's true king); and Antoine lost his father (I mean, he had died, but now it's like he never existed).

    And I do understand what you mean about wanting to get paid for your work. I hope to write fantasy books and would want to get proper payment for it too. My problem was that I thought you were sitting back watching the comic implode for the sake of a few bucks. I was wrong, it seems. I will say that I don't think you're right about how they're not your characters anymore because of the way they changed. After all, everyone changes with time; so, if anything, it made your characters more dynamic and real. Though I will admit I was a bit pissed off when they made Geoffrey a traitor and Naugus' apprentice. But, they did make it seem that he regretted it later on. Unfortunately we'll never know how that would have played out unless either myself or someone better than I can make Archie change it's mind. Who knows, perhaps I'll need your help in order to make that happen.[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]
    As to the Lara-Su chronicles, maybe it will work out, but I don't think I'll get involved. I'd just keep thinking of who the characters used to be rather than how you portrayed them now. And I think others will as well. After all, how are you gonna have Lara-Su without Knuckles as her dad? It just wouldn't feel right.

    Anyway, thank you again for your time and, again, I apologize. Now it looks like I have someone else to fight the good fight against. As the blue blur himself would say, "Let's do it to it".

    Sincerely,
    Zachary Kaplan[/FONT]


    [FONT=&quot]Zachary,[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Apologies accepted, but I was not mad or upset by your e-mail. I fully understood where you were coming from, and I'm fully aware of how much misinformation is out there on the internet.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]I'll tell you what. I don't expect fans to embrace THE LARA-SU CHRONICLES when they love things the way they are or don't think it's possible because I can't use Knuckles. That's why I'm releasing the opening segment online when it's ready for free, just so those longtime fans can see how the story moves forward where MOBIUS: 25 YEARS LATER left off in SONIC #144.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]I'm willing to bet that if those fans who loved those characters and enjoyed that story are going to be in for a pleasant surprise. The major difference is that I know these characters, I know this story and I know what the fans expect. I believe if I more than meet them halfway, they'll give me a chance.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]As for the big concern about contradicting what happens in the comic, that's not my focus, and if anything, I made the story so the fans don't feel like they wasted time with either version. It's all good.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]On a more realistic note, I wish you well in your efforts with Archie, but I've already been approached by fans who even wanted to start a Kickstarter fund to license my characters, which I provided my terms which they thought were more than fair, yet to date as far as I know, neither Archie or Sega has responded to their efforts. It's going to take a lot of you to change their minds into doing something they don't want to do.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]In the meantime, I wish you well. Take care.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Best,[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Ken Penders[/FONT]


    So, my fellow Sonic comic fans, the truth is that Ken Penders is not the one responsible for the characters not being in the comic anymore. It is the fault of Archie comics itself. They have full rights to use these characters, yet have refused to do so. Seeing as how Ken’s characters were one of the best things about the comic, I don’t see how they feel they can pull this off.

    My only question is will we let them.


    As I’ve said, the idea of this comic without these characters is intolerable. And I imagine many, if not all, of you feel the same as I do. And I say that if you feel as I do, we can fight this. I’ll admit, it won’t be easy, and we probably won’t see any immediate results, but we can fight this. We can flood Archie with emails and letters letting them know we won’t stand for this. If any of you are video-makers on Youtube or elsewhere, you can spread this news that way. I will personally be sending this message to all the Sonic sites I can in order to get the message out. However, I strongly suggest that anyone who sends Archie messages keep the cursing down to the minimum. We don’t want to lose credibility due to what may be considered a lack of civility.


    Again, I implore you; if you love this comic and love Ken’s characters, don’t let this pass. If we can get Archie to change its mind, we can ensure the last 20 years of comics were not for nothing. If necessary, they can reboot the reboot. After all, the Genesis wave has already been used twice already. You know what they say, “three’s the charm”. So please, don’t let Archie win. Because if this continues, I see only ruin for the comic’s future. So please, fight for Ken’s characters. Fight Archie. And pray to the Almighty we win.

    [​IMG]

    Zachary Kaplan
     
  2. brickrrb2

    brickrrb2 Active Member

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    I personally Finally Bye Bye to all of them
     
  3. Neo Ultra Mike

    Neo Ultra Mike Creeping Shadow of "15000"+ Posts

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    Well unlike the DC reboot since the characters (or at least the main freedom fighters) still have memories and thoughts of the other world it's not impossible yet that we won't get back there again. However as for reasons why they're not using the characters now even if they have the right to them it could be for a few reasons.

    1. Since these are done months in advance and it's been noted that "Endangered Species" and "Chaotix Quest" had to be massively rewritten at the last minute because of the lawsuit, maybe they still haven't gotten up to reintroducing the characters back into the continuity (and that might be coming sooner then you think. More on that later) as I'm sure they that Ian and co had to totally rewrite plans and such of how the comics will operate now and can't just shift right back after having spent so much time shifting.

    2. There could be a sense of annoyance and spite over the fact that not only did Ken win the right to his characters and have them banned for awhile but that they had to pain some coin for the whole thing. And that even if they have the rights to them now, they may not want to use them due to frustrations of issues with the debocale. Sometimes people do hold these bitternesses, even writers and corporate about certain ideals and what not.

    3. This could be orders under SEGA themsleves not Archie that are behind the changes. It has been noted that SEGA has been asking them to make changes to the book (not calling the world Mobius anymore and just "a world different from the Sonic games) and that the idea of making the characters just from Sonic SatAM more akin to the Sega created characters was part of that decision. So a reason may be just because SEGA wants to make the comics just more like the games. Which IMHO doesn't make sense as not only have the comics proven popular under Ian's relaunch with just how they were using the game properties already without this serious readjustment but SEGA has been coy on even letting Flynn use elements of the games already. Like I said before they wouldn't let him use Black Doom or Eggman Nega despite them being from the games and not even in the most current ones so it's not a policy I even get. Maybe they only want to reflect a specific image even more now but it's still hard to even know what that image is.

    I also wonder about the validity of this statement that the Archie staff has the right to it since from what I've heard even issues yet to come out have a couple of concepts thought up by Penders that had to be changed due to him having the fights but eh maybe that were ideas still in the transistional phrase and they're picking up what to use and not to use. But if the characters are back with archie and are able to be used, then maybe they could wind up coming back. Check out part of this blurb from Sonic Universe 64.

    This is talking about the upcoming arc centered around Knuckles based on Sonic Unleashed, a game Knuckles wasn't even in. So why have him as a focus of this arc? And who could he be meeting that would be so surprising? Supposedly the rights to Sonic: The Dark Brotherhood belong to Archie so it oculd tie into that but honestly that's a game with story elements based on the comics anyway (that Penders also tried suing) and would it be so surprising, especially sicne comic wise they only appeared once in a back story of sonic 191? Woudlnt' it be more surprising and yet more amazing if it was Julie-Su or some of the rest of Knuckles family? Wouldn't that be far more compelling? This is probably just speculating that could be wrong especially if Archie is supposedly not going to use the characters but if they can, maybe they actually are going to and are using this as a gateway to that. Because sometimes it's just good to hold out hope in these sort of things and that's what I'm doing here.
     
  4. Frontier

    Frontier Moderator
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    I doubt Knuckles is going to meet any Echidnas, least of all the ones that were created by Penders. Since he's getting involved in the Unleashed Adaption, I think a better guess would be Chip, since he's kinda essential to the games story.
     
    #664 Frontier, Feb 26, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2014
  5. ToonReel

    ToonReel Active Member

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    I think I'm among the very few who think the games characters have about the same level of depth as the Satam/Archie ones. In fact I actually tend to find most of Archie's alterations to make them more boring.
     
  6. Antiyonder

    Antiyonder Amalgam Universe Overlord
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    See, Ken keeps saying that he isn't keeping Archie from using his character, but I have to question the claim when ultimatums like:

    1. Having to pay royalties for each character used.
    2. Having to consult Ken on the handling of the characters.

    Now lets say that he has rightful ownership over his characters (I'm skeptical as he didn't put down patents on them until the last few years as opposed to say making arrangements before working with Archie that his characters are legally his).

    Fine, but comments like "I'm not keeping Archie from using my characters" infers that they can be used with no strings attached. Yet, having to pay money to use them, or handle them to his liking constitutes as catches.
     
  7. HellCat

    HellCat Lesser spotted Brit
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    In full honesty, I'd prefer they don't bring them back because they do nothing for me. I expect a comic based on a license ti create its own characters and scenarios in part but the Archie Sonic universe was being run like a bad furry webcomic. Cutting the chaff has only benefited them I feel. I know I of course don't speak for everyone but I found the US comics guilty of the same thing as Sonic X, diluting focus by adding a ton of new characters no one asked for.
     
  8. Gatomon41

    Gatomon41 Free Equestrian Forces

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    In context, the Archie Sonic made a bit more sense when it came to original characters. When it first began decades ago, the main sources was two cartoons and a couple of games with excuses plots. Not only were the writers free to add in stuff, it was sort of necessary to keep the comic going. Until the advent of Sonic Adventure, the games themselves did not add many characters. Amy was only introduced in the comic before she became a key figure because of the lack of game characters.

    That said, I'm going have to agree that getting rid of so many originals was a good thing. Not only they were so many, a good chunk was either unnecessary or took much focus away from the main cast. "Bad furry webcomic" would probably best describe the work by Penders. He was the reason the Enchiladas almost took over the comic, and his additions were badly executed. Granted, some of his stories worked and he had good ideas. But trying to steal the spotlight was a terrible idea.

    One can have original characters, but they should not be the main focus. At best, they should help supplement the story.

    Probably a good example of this could be seen with Geoffrey St. John. He was supposed to be a rival to Sonic, but the character didn't try to steal the show (or at least from what I can tell). His relationship to Sonic as a rival allowed Sonic and Sally to be explored.

    My only regret is that so many characters would probably won't get a proper send off. A shame now only because they were being used well now.
     
  9. PC!

    PC! lolwut?

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    It's especially a shame because writer Ian Flynn had spent pretty much his entire 6-year run on the book thus far carefully and meticulously cleaning up the book. Sure would've been easier just to throw in the genesis wave at the very beginning of his run and not have to go through all that extra effort for nothing.
     
  10. Antiyonder

    Antiyonder Amalgam Universe Overlord
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    I still say they make sense in a story sense. I mean while there are mandates now insisting that original characters are designed in vein of the game characters, I'd imagine they still have less restriction that characters who have to be like their game counterparts, thus allowing for more diverse stories.

    Otherwise, I do agree that the game characters should still get adequate spotlight.
     
  11. brickrrb2

    brickrrb2 Active Member

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    Getting rid was the smartest thing Archie Comics ever did.
     
  12. Antiyonder

    Antiyonder Amalgam Universe Overlord
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    ^^^They only got rid of the ones that they couldn't dispute ownership of. Ian and Tracy have been allowed to make new characters afterall. And as I've said already, original characters allow for more range of stories that can't be done with the Sega character.

    I mean surely, there are some original characters you found were done well.
     
  13. kid rabbit

    kid rabbit Active Member

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    I love the original Archie charters
    I more upset on how they got rid of the echidnas including Julie su and knuckles mom by suggesting they were all killed off screen by a crappy new charter named trashed the devil
     
  14. veemonjosh

    veemonjosh Get back, Jojo

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    The only echidna I'm saddened to lose is Finitevus. He was a great villain with vast potential, and Ian Flynn apparently had huge plans for him in his original post-250 outline.

    He's actually one of the few echidnas not created by Penders, but I highly doubt the higher-ups at Archie will allow Flynn to use him anymore (due to not being a Sega/SatAM/Flynn/Yardley creation), even with a rewritten origin. It's all very disappointing.
     
  15. Frontier

    Frontier Moderator
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    Yeah, I'm really going to miss Finitevus too, especially since he was such an effective villain and was being setup as Knuckles' new archenemy :(.

    At best, I could see Ian re-introducing him in a Sonic Chronicles adaption, if Archie ever gets to it, or create a new original member of the Nocturnus whose effectively Finetevus but with a different name.
     
  16. Neo Ultra Mike

    Neo Ultra Mike Creeping Shadow of "15000"+ Posts

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    Eh I wouldn't be totally sure about that. I mean just because Sega did want to push for a more uniformed look doesn't mean they're going to get rid of all of the other characters pre Genesis Wave. Especially since Ian still doesn't create that many new characters not really based off the game storylines and it's obvious there's the idea of the "original world" floating out there. It's not a total impossibility. Plus wouldn't it be an interesting twist if Finnetivus due to hiding out in warp rings was one of the few not to feel the effects of the super genesis wave and the new world and thus was able to come back to it with some new sort of plan? I'd like to hold out hope at least but I guess we'll only know for sure about that when we get official confrontation on what characters can or can't be used anymore.
     
  17. TheGunheart

    TheGunheart Darkness and Disgrace

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    I frankly wasn't that big on the new characters, but my big problem is just...getting rid of them all, canonically, without resolving anything. A story reboot would've been one thing, leaving everything from the original story open but unused. But to more or less imply that all those characters just stopped existing and no one remembers or cares is a pretty crappy thing to do.
     
  18. Gatomon41

    Gatomon41 Free Equestrian Forces

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    The staff probably feel the same (considering how many years they did develop a good chunk of those characters). However, they probably have no choice in the matter considering the context. Someone higher up or Sega probably told them to promptly remove all references as soon as possible, regardless of the changes to the story.

    I'm sure Archie would have liked to give those characters a proper send off, but the real world tends not to be ideal.
     
  19. Antiyonder

    Antiyonder Amalgam Universe Overlord
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    If they were just rebooting for the heck of it, sure they'd probably try to resolve stuff first, but when the reason stems from characters not being legally available (for free and without having to consult with how they're written anyway), I really don't see what could be done. Best you have is offscreen departures like Rob O' or many Echidna's being removed from the world.

    Heck, Knuckles wasn't even able to make direct references to the lost Echidna and to keep that part of history intact means either mourning for the loss of them in a vague matter or just have him getting over it.
     
  20. TheGunheart

    TheGunheart Darkness and Disgrace

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    I think you missed my point. I'm saying that since they had to get rid of them all with no resolution, I rather would've had a hard reboot. The old stories don't matter anymore, nor will they matter again, so so holding onto that tiny thread of continuity only results in the uncomfortable implication that all the old characters are worse than dead.
     

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