Ex-Archie Writer Ken Penders Claims Copyright to Archie Characters & Stories

Ex-Archie Writer Ken Penders Claims Copyright to Archie Characters & Stories

Ken Penders, as most die-hard Archie readers will know, is one of the more prolific writer/artists to have contributed to the Sonic the Hedgehog Archie comic universe over the years. However it has come to light today that Penders, in a statement on his website, will be pursuing copyright claims to the stories and characters he has been responsible for creating in the past. For those who don’t follow Archie comics – this is a substantial amount of material, not only including popular characters such as Julie-Su and Geoffrey St. John, but a large amount of the Sonic & Knuckles story arcs. Penders also claims that plotlines used in the Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood title were adapted from his works.

To quote the statement on Penders’ Web page:

As for how it affects the SONIC THE HEDGEHOG titles published by Archie Comics, while it does not prevent them from publishing the SONIC series, they are not allowed to use any of my characters, concepts or stories without further discussion with my representatives. For now, they cannot reprint any of my stories in any media whatsoever, nor can they use any of my characters. Julie-Su, Geoffrey St. John, Hershey, Rob O’ the Hedge, Lien-Da, the Dark Legion along with the rest of the characters and concepts I created – including the alternative universes and future timeline – cannot appear in the series.

This could potentially affect a large number of factors in the future of the comic’s publishing, as many editions of the Archie Archives books as well as current and future story arcs, currently being written by Ian Flynn include works Penders claims property of.  Penders also states he is seeking intellectual property advice from an LA-based attorney, and also warns of cease and desist letters being issued to anyone using these characters and concepts without permission.

This is of course not the first time there has been ill feeling between Penders and Archie Comics, with Penders lashing out at Ian Flynn earlier this year.

What are your thoughts and feelings on this situation? Let us know in the comments!

You can read the rest of Penders’ statement on Ken Penders Official Website.

Again, I would like to request that comments keep in mind that both Ken, Ian and other writers and artists actively use and read the internet; out-an-out flaming and insults will be removed. Cheers! -T

Published by

Adam Tuff

With a decade under his belt, Adam is one of The Sonic Stadium's most seasoned writers, with interests in the music and merchandise of the Sonic the Hedgehog universe. Adam is the co-organiser for the Summer of Sonic convention.

70 Comments

  1. Reminds me of when Psyguy flipped a shit over Scorch in the Archie comics looking SLIGHTLY similar to his character Psycho.

    In his situation he had no grounds to complain as all his characters are rip offs of Sonic/Mario/DBZ characters.

    In this situation though, it’s different because these characters and situations were largely original, yet adapted to work in the Sonic universe.

  2. I feel torn. I wouldn’t want my characters used to make money in somebody else’s work, but I love some of the characters he’s made in the series, and cannot picture it without them… :T

  3. Ian Flynn’s work got me reading the comics again, after Penders’ worst excesses caused me to stop reading it.

    Hell, Ian even turned Monkey Khan into a likeable character.

    I’m with Archie on this, all the way.

  4. My eyes can’t roll far enough to show how much of a chance this has at flying. I know some copyright law, and one thing about it is that you can’t retroactively claim copyright over something sold by another company and, you may notice, copyrighted by them as is default through the publishing. Attention grab!

    Not. Flying. At. All.

  5. Figures this happens on the day I take off.

    He can’t be serious, can he? I mean, it says in the book that EVERYTHING is copyrighted to SEGA. As far as I know, everything in the book becomes property of SEGA the moment it is printed.

    I don’t understand why he keeps doing this…

  6. What Nuckles87 said. Once Ken created that character for Archie, they became Sega’s property. What could he possibly be thinking?

  7. “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.)”

    Evil-Sonic may be Ken’s brainchild, but Scourge is pretty much a whole new character by now. I can’t see that he’d have any claim over Scourge or the rest of the reinvented Suppression Squad.

    Also, to add what my friend Carriepika pointed out:

    “You know.. actually… I’ve been thinking about this? Penders claims he started this in January of 2009, right?

    Funny, that… it’s about the same time that ‘Evil Sonic’ showed back up, without his name ever really being said, and suddenly became Scourge. Who wears different shoes, a different jacket and different sunglasses.

    It’s about then that they started calling it ‘Moebius’ instead of ‘Anti-Mobius’. And not long after that, his gang got a name change, to the Suppression Squad, they all changed in appearances and all go by different names now, too.

    The Dark Legion isn’t the Dark Legion anymore either, you notice. It’s now the Dark EGG Legion… and Lien-Da was just changed as well. Very drastically. Even Monkey Khan got a new name and a new look!

    I’m getting the feeling that Archie knew this was coming… The more I look at it, the more I see it.”

    I was a little worried at first, but now I feel better. I don’t think anything will come of this.

  8. that guy should allow them to use his characters and besides everyone loves his characters he should be ashamed to be calling himself a artist if he refuses to let his charcters be loved and tied into the sonic archie comic.

  9. All I can say is that if someone finds in favor of Penders over all this, then Sega and Archie need to fire their lawyers and get new ones. Publishing houses’ profitability depends on being able to retain copyright of what they publish. Any large, long-running fictional series depends on this. Look at the trouble the BBC has with Doctor Who because the rights to the Daleks are owned by their creator.

    I would think that Sega, having been engaged in an image war with Nintendo back in the day, and Archie, who have spent a long time dealing with licensing, would have iron-clad legal protection for anything in their comics. Even if Penders retains the copyright for his characters, he probably gave them permanent rights to use his work. I forget the legal speak for this due to the Michigan heat wave.

  10. Awesome. This comic needed to get rid of some of it’s terrible recolors… I mean characters.

  11. He won’t win, sure he made them but he can’t claim them fully their apart of the series owned by sega and archie comics he will have to go through 2 dif companies

  12. P.S: I’m sorry if that comment sounded inflamitory. In fact, I guarantee it will seem that way, but seriously, there are a bunch of characters that I do find unnecessary like that green Sonic with the hood, and offing the characters by any means would get me to want to read the comics.

  13. Whoa this again I ‘m not a real reader of the archie comics, but I think he’s got it the wrong way around.
    Imagine Naoto Oshima suing Sega and claim the copyright on Sonic.
    It isn’t that easy when you work for someone.

  14. I admire both Ian and Ken’s work since I’ve grown up with the Archie Sonic comics since I was 5. I don’t understand why Ken is menstruating so much because even after his departure, the comic is still good and still remains what it was when I was growing up in the early 90s. He should be grateful we even remember his works, some of us.

  15. @ Matt

    Woah woah woah woah… they changed the writer for the comic!? When!? I quit reading when it started getting particularly corny and bad around issue 150. I really want to like this comic, I really do, but the constant love triangle story just turned me away. Did the new guy change the comic that much?

  16. Edge: Yes. Very, very, VERY much so.

    Ian Flynn took over as the head (and now, only) writer of the comic at issue 160 and cleaned up the horrible mess that was the Archie Sonic comic.

    Lots of former fans have returned to reading the book as a result.

  17. Any judge with half a brain will throw this out – any footing Ken may have had to pull a (childish) stunt of this nature crumbled when Archie fired him five years ago.

    Consider the ugly precedent this would set if he actually were to get away with it, and that is why it won’t.

  18. Wow…this is so dumb on so many levels, I don’t know how he thinks he will get away with RUNNING THE COMIC AFTER HE WAS FIRED but it should be fun to watch it play out.

    That being said, I would’ve kinda felt sorry for him initially. It did seem wrong for Archie to just all out fire him suddenly after he wrote there for so many years. In fact, I would be on his side if I hadn’t continued reading the comic and realizing how good it could be with Ian there instead. That and he just won’t let go in the worst way possible, it was bad enough that he spoke out against his former employer saying he will always be better, but actually suing them for rights over stories he wrote while working for them?! If this worked out couldn’t any TV writer sue the creators of the show they had some part in? Didn’t he sign something that said the rights were given to SEGA and Archie?

    Besides, even if he wins he still can’t use what he won or SEGA could sue him for having characters that look incredibly similar to ones from Sonic games.

  19. What the hell? What does he stand to gain from this? Does his heart burn with the intense desire to independently create commercial Sonic-universe fiction exclusively starring supplementary characters like these?

    If successful, what he’s proposing would take the series as we know it away from the fans. It’s a bitter and spiteful move at best.

  20. This is crazy! I’m a big fan of Ken’s work but this is just STUPID of him, honestly! What exactly does he hope to accomplish with all this, anyway? I can see “sticking it to the man” but Ken…eh, I don’t know.>.>

  21. We need julie su, the alternate timelines, and the future stories! But seriously, how will they cover up so many missing chara? So many will stop reading without their favorites. Someone needs to send KEN a “cease and desist” letter.

  22. As I recall, Ken Penders was responsible for the “Endgame” series, which resulted in the death of Princess Sally Acorn. However, fans rallied to her defence and demanded, in droves, that the story be changed. And it was! I think that is one of the main reasons why the readers fell out of live with him. Killing off a major and well-loved character IS kind of a no-no.

  23. Sounds like Penders wants a chunk of $ as the comic industry continues to take a dive.
    I don’t see any resemblance with his characters / stories and what went on in Sonic Chronicles, everyone knows Echidnas exist / existed before Knuckles (Tikal + tribe), that’s probably as far as references go.

    I love a few of his characters thou like Rob’O the Hedge, would be a shame if we don’t get to see him again.

  24. *shrugs*

    If worst comes to worst, I guess Archie can send the Penders characters to the “Zone of Silence” , have Feist wipe everyones memories of them (without mentioning names) and that’ll be that 😀

  25. … Unless Feist is also Penders “pwned”… then Eggman can initiate a mind wipe 😀

  26. Ian HAS mproved the comic in some ways, i.e. development and plot, but lie ken his stories have big fat flaws as well. Like all the killing, charmy and robonik’s temporary insanity, but the point is that Ken just should stop looking for easy money and let us fans just enjoy our awesome comics on new glossy paper.

  27. What? This is stupid…

    Seriously, Ken Penders created the characters, the locations, and the storylines…
    BUT he did so under the payroll of Archie Comics. Anything he created for the series during that time is not his own. It is the company’s property (whether it is SEGA’s or AC’s, doesn’t matter). Those things are part of the continuity of the series. Mr. Penders has been paid for his work already.

    This is comparable to a contractor suing a company for selling a building that the contractor built and sold years ago.

    Plus, I personally feel Flynn has taken the comic and made it better.
    I’ve been collecting this comic since #30 and I’ve followed the ups and downs this whole way.

    And as Flyboy said, Flynn has taken a lot of the characters and gave them new depth. He’s even gave Flying Frog, Predator Hawk, and Lightning Lynx personalities; in the latter two’s cases some backstory.

    As far as I’m concerned I think Mr. Penders is barking, just bark.

  28. @Jix Hedgehog

    The (Dark Legion/Nocturne Tribe) was sealed away in an alternate dimension called the Twilight (Zone/Cage). The Twilight (Zone/Cage) has the unique property of having time go slower than the main dimension. The (Dark Legion/Nocturne Tribe) is also a more technological group of Echidna and that technology is ultimately what caused them to be sealed away in the first place. (Julie-su/Shade) is a female deserter of the (Dark Legion/Nocturne Tribe).

    I could go on a bit more, but having not played Chronicles in a while so I can’t remember them all.

  29. I, for sure support Archie on this one. I’ve met Ken Penders at Comic con a few times and he is a nice guy, kind of full of himself, but still a nice guy. However, a stunt like this is definitely not cool. The Comics have gotten so much better the last few years since Flynn took over. He doesn’t introduce a new character every issue and loads the comics with humor and fan service. If Penders wants to go down as the the greatest Sonic villain of all time (worse than Robotnik) then he should pursue this.

  30. Let’s see here,

    Rob O’ the Hedge is pretty much Sonic with a hood on, so SEGA could easily take legal action on that character.

    This past Knuckles arc in Sonic Universe was great, but had one flaw. Knuckles has already achieved his happily ever after with Julie Su, so even though they have adventures, it doesn’t seem to spark as much emotional interest. What Archie should do is kill off Julie Su and thus making Knuckles an insanely angry, overly emotional much more interesting character. knuckles could also eventually find a new love interest in Rouge, then we throw Shadow in the mic, I smell a love triangle. those are always fun.

    Tell you the truth, I have collected every Sonic Comic since the first issue in ’93. And when Knuckles had his own series (Completely by Ken Penders), I only bought the comics out of obligation to complete my collection. I did not enjoy a number of the arcs. Let’s see, I liked the third one with enerjak and I liked the one about Charmy and the poison hot Dogs. None of the other issues were very memorable. Whereas Ian Flynn’s work is amazing. When Knuckles became Enerjak, I was on the edge of my seat reading those issues. I let out a huge sigh of relief when Sonic refused to kill Knuckles. And when Locke died, I was on the verge of tears. I love these comics.

  31. Wow, Penders is claiming Evil Sonic as his own? Wow. That means I can make up a Mouse character in a leather jacket and sunglasses and call him “Evil Mickey” and say “guess what Disney, I own this character!”

    I’m so excited. I’m going to get rich with my new video game “Evil Mario Bros.” and my new movie saga “Evil Star Wars”. Shigeru Miyomoto, George Lucas, you guys got nothing, I’m the real genius.

  32. “What Archie should do is kill off Julie Su and thus making Knuckles an insanely angry, overly emotional much more interesting character. knuckles could also eventually find a new love interest in Rouge, then we throw Shadow in the mic, I smell a love triangle. those are always fun.”

    Personally, I think that would be cheesy and kinda cheap. The comics are not the games, and while I have nothing against Rouge and Shadow’s roles in the comics, I don’t need to see Knux/Rouge there when there’s plenty of hints for that in the games. And Shadow/Rouge/Knux in a love triangle? The comics really don’t need any more excuse to go soap opera.

    Also, Knux is already an irrational angry emotional character 😀 He doesn’t need any more reason. He’s had enough angst and issues to create an interesting character.

    Having said that, I don’t really care what happens to Julie-su, as she doesn’t interest me. But cheap and clichéd plot devices with primarily game-developed characters aren’t the solution here.

    For me, I just hope that Ken’s threat regarding the use of Scourge will be blown out of the water due to Scourge being pretty much a whole new character anyway (and the idea of evil twins is hardly copyrightable). I was really hoping that we’d see both Scourge and the Suppression Squad again. I will be very sad if that never happens; they’re my favourite characters in the comics (yeah, I said it!).

  33. The man needs to move on, plain and simple…..he should just shut up and leave his legacy as it is instead of tarnishing it further and dragging decent characters out with him; ruining any potential stories that could have used them. If he was any kind of a writer, he’d take his paychecks and just work on something else; broaden his horizons instead of sitting on the same crap for the rest of his life (and I don’t mean crap as in “bad”).

    MOVE ON!

  34. I know this might sound SO out of place but does this mean His comics, including Sonic Archieves, will go out of stock? Because if it is, then better start buying.

  35. The concept of copyright law at play here is called “work for hire”. Penders’ original contributions were made as a work for hire to Archie, and so all copyrights were assigned to Archie immediately upon creation. It’s that simple. Penders’ sentimental attachment to his work or perceptions of unfair compensation for his work give him no special standing under the law whatsoever. There’s a lesson for all artists here.

  36. *Plays the world’s smallest violin*

    Seriously, though, this is just silly. Good for a laugh, though.

  37. Latest responses from Penders:

    “I’d like to say at this time that what I have undertaken was not done with malice or in haste. I am simply looking out for the long-term interests of my family. That said, I knew many fans might be hurt or bewildered by my actions, but once all the circumstances that brought me to this point are known, I’m certain many will agree I had no choice but to protect my interests. In fact, I never expected to find myself in this position, yet here I am.

    There will be much misinformation tossed out to confuse and obfuscate the issues at hand. You will not get that from me because I have no intention of being forthcoming with details beyond the obvious.

    In the meantime, I will be in San Diego attending Comic-Con while promoting my film THE REPUBLIC as well as the forthcoming BROTHERHOOD OF THE GUARDIANS: LOCKE graphic novel. I will also be selling a special limited edition poster available only at Comic-Con featuring Julie-Su, Lara-Su, Lien-Da and the rest of the clan from the Dark Legion. My attorney Michael Lovitz will also be in attendance, providing a seminar on Copyrights and related matter. Please note that none of my actions infringe on SEGA’s or Archie’s rights with regards to producing the SONIC and SONIC UNIVERSE series. I also wouldn’t be undertaking what I plan if I weren’t within my legal rights.”

    and

    “As I made clear in my statement, this was a process that began with everyone contacting me about my involvement with SONIC CHRONICLES: THE DARK BROTHERHOOD. So we’re talking sometime late in 2008. This didn’t happen overnight despite the suddenness of my announcement. Far from it. It just seems that way to everyone because they’re only now finding out what’s going on. There were many steps along the way that could’ve stopped this from coming to be, but fate decreed otherwise. I’m just as amazed we’re here as you are.”

  38. I really don’t see how this guy can do this, considering everyplace sonic treads on, and everyone in the sonicverse, is owned by SEGA, comic-wise, or video-game wise.

    Besides, even if he gets away with the copyrights, he’ll of course make something work with Archie, if not for his wishes, but for all the Sonic fans he’s hurting.

  39. If Penders would’ve won, he would’ve caused the END of the Sonic Comics, then Sonic will be free from the Purgatory that is Archie Comics and Archie Comics will be free to either work on OTHER Archie works, like Sabrina the Teenage Witch (is that even an active series?), or find something new to work with, like Super Mario (with Spin-Off stories involving Wario in Diamond City, and adaptations of The Mario & Luigi Adventures, with Fawful!), or even better, Star Fox.

  40. Locke getting his own Graphic Novel? C’mon who would want to read that? Plus Locke is just Knuckles with a beard and a white coat. To detach him from the Sonic universe is just ludicrous. That would be like Uncle Chuck getting his own graphic novel separate from the Sonic universe.

  41. @ YoshiAngemon & sonictoast :

    Star Fox and Uncle Chuck comics? *takes a puff of his giant cigar* Make it happen! Now, get out of my office, next!!

  42. It’s an absolute hypocrisy. On the one hand, he wants to stop the use of any characters derived from his own ideas and concepts. Then on the other, he wants to make money from selling his own stories about characters derived from SEGA’s ideas and concepts. Ludicrous.

  43. The Archie “Sonic” Comics are the worst thing that happen to the franchise (after Sonic 06)

  44. Sadly when Ian came into the comics, that’s when the comics started to decrease, the storylines repeated, the characters personalities were drifting off slightly, became cheesy, not much emotions or emotional scenes, it also became more action then story and the storys over all just didn’t go anywhere.

    I say why not copyright a claim, they are his creations after all.

    Just a reminder Sega don’t own julie-su etc thous characters are not owned By sega, sega own characters such as sonic, Tails,knuckles,amy, shadow etc. but there are certain characters they don’t own, if they did we would see them make cameos in games, have figures of them etc.

    its like saying Shortfuse (from STC) is owned By sega, but he’s not .

  45. Actually, I remembered that the story wasn’t the only thing that pushed me away… It was the art. Seriously, look at archie comic’s back around the early 2000’s and look at it around the issue 150’s. The art was much more detailed in the early 2000’s, then around 150 it just started to look like a child drew it, with less shading and attention to detail, I noticed this particularly when I checked out Hope’s character page on the archie sonic wiki. However, it looks like it’s starting to get better.

  46. Sega owns all the characters in that comic and can ultimately do what they want with them if they so choose. Just like how they ordered [Spoiler] Sally to live in issue 50.

  47. @ Sonica605
    Exactly.

    If only Sally had stayed dead. Her and Sonic’s never ending relationship drama really takes away from the issue at hand, and is like a huge sop opera, and there is a reason all of those are disappearing.

    The comic really just isn’t drawing my attention like it use to. The Iron Dominion plot is dragging now, and all the jokes and cheesy humor Flynn tries to include just aren’t funny :/

  48. If I were ken, i’d avoid comic con unless i’d want the next book i’d be in to be the obituary.

  49. Aw man, this is bumming me out. I love Penders’ characters (except Geoffrey St. John).

    This means there’s gonna be like, ten times more Shadow and Silver story arcs and spin offs. Bleh.

  50. I’ve always said that Penders’ professional manner was horrendous, not because I’m in camp Ian, moreso because he lashed out at an author of a book he wrote for, for more or less no reason. Ian’s handling of the situation has seemed much more professional.
    To add to this, Penders’ latest move can be viewed as selfish towards the fans and unethical to the book it’s self. Only proving to confirm my statement that his professional manner is terrible.
    Chances are, since he wrote them for a company who have the license from an even bigger company, I doubt he will succeed. If I went to Comic-Con, I wouldn’t assault Ken Penders, but rather would politely let him know I think he is a git. I’d leave the assaulting to the legion of other readers who would be screwed over by this.

  51. Part of me wonders if all the people who love Ken Penders’ arcs and hate the modern stuff have rose-tinted glasses. As a fairly new reader of the series (3-4 years), I’ve read both good and bad issues from both eras, and don’t see one as much greater than the other. Likewise, I love the UK comics as I have so many memories attached, but any new readers probably wouldn’t like it as much.

    Though Ken Penders really frustrates me, with the way he acts about his past works. When you leave a series, particularly a licensed series, someone else takes it on, and goes their direction with it. That’s how it goes. If it annoys you so much, fair enough, critique it, but the attitude he’s expressed is nothing short of extreme arrogance. The fact that Ian has taken his characters in a direction he didn’t want… if he was so invested in these characters, then he shouldn’t have left.

    And I’m pretty sure that this is just a cry for attention. I only know a little bit of copyright law, but you can be sure that anything he produced while working on the comic was hit with a big OWNED BY SEGA stamp. Not to mention that his works were directly inspired by SEGA materials (for example, Lien-Da is a Mobius echidna, which is a fictional race owned by… SEGA). This won’t hold up in court.

  52. I think Penders stories were better and less cheese filled, but I don’t think he should do this. To claim all of these elements would screw over the storyline more than it’s already been.
    It’s actually making me angry. I love the comics, and to take out the dark legion and Julie-su would cut off half of Knuckles’ backstory. I don’t like this, I don’t like this at all.

  53. Ouch…I don’t even READ the Archie comics (except for the Archives Vol.1 I won in a contest here once) and I think that’s a bad move. From what I’ve read on the Net, Julie-Su is a pretty major character…suddenly pretending she never existed is gonna look pretty strange.

    Also, ‘cease and desist letters being issued to anyone who uses these characters without permission’? Does that include fan-made stuff? ‘Coz otherwise I’m gonna have to scrap those Sonic Trading Cards I made, and that Archie Sonic RPG I was thinking of making…

    And Waaurufu, you’re totally right, lol. Knuckles deserves way better than Rouge.

  54. Penders must have a pretty empty wallet to try bringing this up….

    I mean we all know this is going to come down to money if push comes to shove.

  55. His story arcs were great but, sega does own everything in the series, especially since the comic is called SONIC THE HEDGEHOG and all of his charachters or at least most of them are based off the original sonic cast, so instead of acting imature he should be flatterd that sega actaually payed attention to his stories and actually loosly based the sonic cronicoles story off of some of them, hell if sega wanted they could just shut down the comic alltogether and never let archie use sonic the hedgehog which would make kens charachters usless since they all revolve around the main sonic cast.

  56. plus the only people who actually have the right to do this and not look stupid, are yuji naka and especially Naoto Ōshima since Natoto created sonic and yuji naka programed the game that made him famous.

  57. Newer response from Flynn:

    I had wanted to let this ride out by itself and not mire BKC in paranoia and speculation, but given the amount of email, PMs and general broo-ha-ha around the net, I guess a little pat on the head and “everything will be fine” doesn’t quite cut it.

    I still do not want this to blow itself out or proportion, so this is the go-to thread for info and news. There will be no discussion because there’s nothing to discuss, and all it will do is get everyone in a tizzy.

    The Short Version

    The Archie legal department is handling things. I’ve been told to keep writing as usual and to continue with our plans for the end of 2010/start of 2011. As I said before: no worries.

    The Longer Version

    Bear in mind that I don’t have all the information. All I’m going off of is my limited understanding of the ownership of things within the book and franchise. So unless Mr. Penders pulls a rabbit out of his hat, I feel fairly confident in my understanding of things.

    1) Work-for-Hire – While I’m bound by my contract to not talk about my contract, I can say I’m work-for-hire. I’ve been on the book for five years (!!!) and I’m still freelance, part-time, on-the-side. All of my contributions to the book are for the book, and I’m paid for that.

    All the stuff I came up with for “Young Salem” – Foreman Armstrong, Mortimer Destiny, the Lizarmyn, Horde Lord, concept, etc. – is Archie’s. I can’t do my own book under BKC about Mortimer and Felicia’s younger days.

    Sonic-wise, I have a harder parallel to draw since I’ve spent more time using the content within the book and taking it in new directions. I suppose Thrash is the best example, lean as he is character-wise. He’s Archie’s. Plain and simple.

    Everyone on staff (and I include us freelaners when I say this) has to sign that contract. So unless Mr. Penders’s contract was wildly different, he signed away those characters before he even created them.

    2) SEGA – It is my understanding, as explained by Mr. Penders himself years ago on his forum – that ultimately SEGA owns everything in the book. If it’s associated with Sonic in the book, it is by extension SEGA’s. From my understanding, that is why BioWare could so freely emulate the Dark Legion for the Marauders.

    I know there was some confusion elsewhere concerning rights to SatAM. As it was explained, SEGA owns the intellectual property – the characters and such – but DiC retains the rights to the animation. So you wouldn’t see SEGA reselling SatAM boxsets willy-nilly. Conversely, DiC wouldn’t be able to just up and make a new Sonic cartoon.

    3) Reboot – Oh if I had a nickle for every time this word got tossed around. I’ve already begun material for 2011 and, as I said before, have been told there’s no need to change. Not that we’re blindly forging ahead, but that we have no reason to stop.

    What would need a reboot, in the scenario that Mr. Penders somehow did win out in all this, is his plans. SEGA would not grant him the license to use Knuckles, I can flat-out tell you that with certainty. So right there the core component of the Echidna Lore – the main character – is gone.

    He would not be able to use Angel Island, Mobius, or the Chaos Emeralds. Easy enough fix, though, right? It’s Skyhigh Island on Terra using the Magi-Gems for flight. (copyright, by the way. Double-tappsies, no take-backs).

    But the entire Echidna cast is comprised of Knuckles knock-offs. Mr. Penders would be required to redesign the entire cast, unless he’s planning on trying to pass it off as parody (which I doubt).

    By the time the property would be safe to touch, it would be unrecognizable. It’s not about Knuckles’s society or family. It’s not about echidnas (the kind we think of, at least). It would now be a sci-fi-lite story about some dudes on a flying island. That could be interesting in its own right, but it’s not the story I think Mr. Penders wants to tell, and it’s not the one the echidna fans want to read. So I’m not entirely sure what his greater thinking is here.

    Again, take my words with a grain of salt. I’m not privy to absolutely everything going on. But from what I do know I am confident I – and you all – have nothing to worry about.

    So relax, curl up with the latest SONIC book, and enjoy it while ignoring the storm outside. This too shall pass.

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