Archie Editor Responds, Penders’ Claims Limited?

Archie Editor Responds, Penders’ Claims Limited?

Mike Pellerito, the editor of both Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Universe, has recently issued a statement regarding the current situation with former Sonic comic writer Ken Penders, through the blog Robot6:

We have been in contact with our legal team and the claims by Ken Penders are completely false. We will be responding through proper legal channels.

Tristan Oliver of TSSZ has also done quite a bit of research on Penders’ claims, going over all of Penders’ 135 claims. To get a nice in depth look at the claims and what they are attempting to claim ownership of, take a gander at Tristan’s article. There is, however, one bit that should interest the current Archie readership:

In fact, while Penders claimed he outright owns many of the characters he created, the records in the Copyright Office mostly show him only claiming ownership to stories in which they star, and not the characters themselves. As an example, TSSZ News found four entries regarding Geoffrey St. John, as part of a 1998 series. But in all certificates, Penders only claims himself as the “author of story text.” We also couldn’t find in any of the claims he registered anything regarding a claim of ownership to Lien-Da, be it story text or otherwise. The same is also true for Rob O’ the Hedge, who Penders also singled out in his Wednesday announcement.

In fact, according to Tristan’s article, the only character that went uncontested through the copyright process was Hershey, Geoffrey St. John’s girl friend. For an in depth look at the claims, check out Tristan’s article. I’d also advice taking a look at the Robot6 article, as it gives another angle to this developing story.

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Nuckles87 has been an editor at Sonic Stadium since 2007, and has been covering events like E3, PAX, and SDCC since 2010. An avid retro gamer, he runs a monthly stream on Twitch where he explores obscure Sonic oddities, and how aspects of the franchise have evolved over the decades.


  1. Penders will now write his masterpiece, Hershey: The cat-girl who nearly killed Sally thinking it was Snivley because she had a Sonic costume on with visors that made everyone look like Sniv-……

  2. @Jason

    Your comment made me realize how silly the comics are. But i love them anyway.

  3. @ Sonictoast

    Believe it or not, that’s actually one of the only story arcs I liked! Ohoho… and the arc when Sonic came back from that alien planet, that was pretty funny.

  4. Thank you mike for shedding some more info on this! Ken, I think you’ve lost the game…*snap*

  5. Haven’t seen Hersey in years… I think she was in that issue when they went to Mammoth Mogul’s casino *shrugs*

  6. So how long ago did Hersey come out?
    Last time I remember her was like issue…. 150’s – 170’s……
    Okay. The copyright claim isn’t that bad anymore….

  7. Don’t know for sure, but to me, it seems like Mr. Penders might just be jelous because he isn’t working on the Archie Sonic comics anymore so in an outburst of rage, could be trying to screw over Archie.

    IMHO, Ian Flynn is the best thing that has ever happened to the Archie Sonic comics. If you’re reading this, I support you 100%! 😀

  8. I’ve never read the comics, but I find it hard to believe Penders is doing this out of emotional spite. That’s petty. He said he’s doing this “to collect overdue royalties” for his stories, and I believe his word.

    Disregarding the contract first, it’s perfectly reasonable for a person to want royalties for the stories and characters that he wrote. But since Penders /did/ sign away his rights to Archie, I’d think that pretty much closes off his rights to do so — unless his authorship of story text is NOT contractually owned by Archie, in which case I don’t see why he can’t collect royalties there.

    He could make the argument that “he didn’t sign the contract with full understanding,” and that Archie is being a big bully company. I can see the merits behind that argument (if you’re willing to believe capitalism is dog-eat-dog,) but I’m not sure how far that would go in court.

  9. @needsemail1: He doesn’t like us, remember? Not the other way around. We’ll link to the appropriate sources, whoever it is.

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