candescencearia: (Default)
[personal profile] candescencearia posting in [community profile] scans_daily
There had been considerable speculation for some time as to the state of the longest-running North American licensed comic book ever since January, but now it's official - the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series has ended, at least in its current form, and likely moving to a new publisher.

Full details in the tweet.

"After 25 years of memorable storytelling, SEGA of America will conclude their Sonic the Hedgehog publishing partnership program with Archie Comics. This does not mark the end of Sonic in comics, but signifies SEGA of America's decision to take a different direction for the series that will be announced at a later date. SEGA would like to thank sonic's amazing fans for their loyalty and passion over all the years. SEGA looks forward to providing more information soon."



This obviously means the comic will likely be hard-rebooted and moved over to a different publisher, likely IDW or BOOM, but probably the former, as the likes of Ian Flynn (the writer for the comics up until this point, who has arguably been doing a good job, and the writer of the on hiatus/cancelled Mega Man comic, which was absolutely fantastic) and Tyson Hesse (one of the artists, mainly on the Mega Drive books) already have working agreements with them, and they have a long-standing reputation for good stewardship of licensed comics.

This move has likely been a long time coming after the soft-reboot due to the conclusion of Archie's court case with former writer Ken Penders (now generally loathed in the fandom due to this whole case and his "quality" art and writing in general, nevermind "The Lara-Su Chronicles", his belated attempt to cash in on his only successful comics job and the Sonic fandom, and his general vendetta with Archie and SEGA) - due to incompetence on Archie's part concerning maintaining records of contracts, Penders ended up gaining the rights to various characters he created, forcing a soft-reboot in the comic in the conclusion of the Sonic/Mega Man crossover "Worlds Collide", which likely did not please SEGA much, and enforced a ban on all Sonic characters not created by SEGA, DiC or Flynn. On the other hand, Archie has also been moving away from focusing on non-Archie properties, which might also partially explain the impromptu "hiatus" of the Mega Man comic.


Personal opinion: In many ways, SEGA moving the comic to a different publisher is probably for the best, considering Archie's stewardship of the comic has been questionable even at the best of times, regardless of creative staff. I really hope the license goes over to IDW. Ian, Tyson, etc. have been doing good work, I don't see any reason why SEGA would partner up with anyone else at this point. Though considering comics writers and artists often work with multiple publishers at once, the old guard transitioning over might not be an issue if the publisher in question has their ear to the ground for what the fans want, but it's still a worry.

That being said, I do worry for the state of the comics going forward in terms of cast, particularly since SEGA has been becoming more restrictive with what people can do with the series. I wouldn't have an issue with rebooting the whole thing to be much closer to the games but keeping the SATAM cast to liven things up somewhat, but if it's just games-only material rigidly close to SEGA's 'guidelines'? What's even the point, then? There's a difference between "consistency" and "stagnation".

Also, I hope Capcom follows suit and moves Mega Man to the same publisher SEGA moves to so Ian can continue the series, but it won't matter much if Capcom, being Capcom, decides to just reboot it along the lines of that dreadful-looking new cartoon instead.

Date: 2017-07-20 02:57 am (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
"This obviously means the comic will likely be hard-rebooted and moved over to a different publisher, likely IDW or BOOM, but probably the former, as the likes of Ian Flynn (the writer for the comics up until this point, who has arguably been doing a good job, and the writer of the on hiatus/cancelled Mega Man comic, which was absolutely fantastic) and Tyson Hesse (one of the artists, mainly on the Mega Drive books) already have working agreements with them, and they have a long-standing reputation for good stewardship of licensed comics."

That assumes they try and stick with the same creative team, which I wouldn't take as a given, they might be instructed to start fresh or just decide to do so on their own. (Plus IDW has some money problems so I'm not sure how much they can afford the license... though granted it's a reliable profit maker)


Also? I made a guide to the Ian Flynn run and where I think the jumping on parts are on a forum if anyone's curious

Short version, 173, 248, or 252 are my picks. After the 'cleanup stories' fixing the mess of the prior runs, World's Collide, or just after World's Collide.
Edited Date: 2017-07-20 02:57 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-07-20 02:59 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] astrakhan42
I agree, IDW seems like the best home for Sonic and Mega Man at this point. There was a GI Joe/Street Fighter crossover not long ago so Capcom has a working relationship with IDW too. Alternatively, I could see Boom making a play for the rights.

Date: 2017-07-20 09:48 am (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
Mega Man, I don't think Capcom is currently doing any licenses for whatever reason. Or at the least, when it stopped at Archie apparently that was at a time when they were closing down all the active ones and I haven't heard of anything new starting up. No idea, really.

Date: 2017-07-20 10:47 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] astrakhan42
There's one other (remote) possibility with Capcom--that they'll launch a venture to do comics with Marvel now that MvC Infinite is coming out.

Date: 2017-07-20 11:38 am (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
Possibly!

Date: 2017-07-21 05:51 am (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
Most Capcom stuff goes through Udon. They've been doing the Street Fighter comics for years now, including the recent Darkstalkers crossover, in addition to publishing Capcom's art books in the West. That said, Capcom have also published stuff through DC previously, like some of their Resident Evil books.
Edited Date: 2017-07-21 05:53 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-07-20 03:03 am (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
"I wouldn't have an issue with rebooting the whole thing to be much closer to the games but keeping the SATAM cast to liven things up somewhat, but if it's just games-only material rigidly close to SEGA's 'guidelines'? What's even the point, then? There's a difference between "consistency" and "stagnation"."

That I'm not too worried about- even if they decide to drop the SatAM ones, which I kinda suspect will happen- there's a relatively large game cast now, much more than when Archie started, and they're pretty much guaranteed to make more and expand as well.

Date: 2017-07-20 04:50 am (UTC)
silverzeo: (Default)
From: [personal profile] silverzeo
Yeah, but keep in mind the comics help kept the Chaotix to still be in the loop... especially Mighty and Ray

Date: 2017-07-20 10:05 am (UTC)
janegray: (Default)
From: [personal profile] janegray
Antoine is the best one, though. Damn shame if they drop him.

Date: 2017-07-20 10:18 am (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
I'm more of a Bunnie fan... which generally works out to the same stories anyway! The Tails Adventure (Aka Bunnie and Ant go on a honeymoon oh yea and Tails is there I guess) was one of my fav Sonic Universe stories.

Date: 2017-07-20 04:10 am (UTC)
ozaline: (topstar)
From: [personal profile] ozaline
I'll miss the SAT AM characters if they're gone but I don't see this as such a bad thing.

Actually this might open the way for more Sega comics adaptations, that Archie wouldn't have been interested in. I would love for IDW to do Sakura Wars (since Sega seems to be interested in reviving that.

Date: 2017-07-20 04:51 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] locuatico
I would... actually be more than okay if, alongside the "Hasbro-Verse", IDW decides to make a "Sega-Verse" with Sonic and other Sega properties.
Not just all the Sonic related media, but maybe Shinning Force and Phantasy Star. Or Wonder Boy. Hell, i would love if they brought back Ristar for a crossover with sonic.


Ooooh. Sakura Wars and Valkyria Chronicles in the same continuity

Date: 2017-07-20 08:12 am (UTC)
leoboiko: manga-style picture of a female-identified person with long hair, face not drawn, putting on a Japanese fox-spirit max (Default)
From: [personal profile] leoboiko
I'd see promise in Rocket Knight (obvious Sonic crossover material), Streets of Rage, Golden Axe, El Viento, and… Outrun.

Just think about it. Entire comic is a peaceful road trip, seeing scenery, meeting people, enjoying beaches, huts, bodegas, conversations.

Date: 2017-07-20 10:23 am (UTC)
bj_l: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bj_l
As much as I'd love to more Rocket Knight and the return of Sparkster, it's not a SEGA property.

Date: 2017-07-20 09:38 am (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
I don't think they have the resources for a Sega-verse... only the big properties are comic-size.

Though they might do something ala Worlds Unite and have crossover-cameos in events.

Date: 2017-07-21 05:55 am (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
They could also get off their butts and do a Jet Set Radio series. There's enough characters and concepts there for a six issue mini, at least.

Date: 2017-07-20 09:37 am (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
Yea, I like the SatAMs but they, honestly? Have a lot of stories at this point and people are still gonna do fan work. Heck, even Nicole, who pretty much only was during the Flynn run, has multiple solid stories in her backs.

Date: 2017-07-20 04:45 am (UTC)
silverzeo: (Default)
From: [personal profile] silverzeo
Such a shame.... the comics would have reached over 300 issues this year...

Date: 2017-07-20 09:38 am (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
Though if you add in Universe, we're well past that.

Date: 2017-07-20 05:32 am (UTC)
laughing_tree: (Default)
From: [personal profile] laughing_tree
So why exactly are they switching publishers?

Date: 2017-07-20 09:39 am (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
Yep, it's not public the reasons but we've got enough that it's not a surprise (apparently another oldie might've tried to pull a Penders too? Not sure).

Date: 2017-07-21 12:16 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lonewolf23k
Yeah, Tom Fulop (sp?) was convinced by Penders to make a legal claim to his own designed characters as well, like Mammoth Mogul.

Date: 2017-07-21 06:49 am (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
I really don't see what he was supposed to gain from that... now his work is never gonna get reprinted again.

Date: 2017-07-20 10:05 am (UTC)
laughing_tree: (Default)
From: [personal profile] laughing_tree
Thanks for the info. Sounds tumultuous.

Date: 2017-07-20 10:10 am (UTC)
laughing_tree: (Default)
From: [personal profile] laughing_tree
Also, what's the deal with the whole Ken Penders thing? As far as I can tell, Archie was sloppy with their paperwork, so that he was able to end up holding the copyrights to all the characters he created? And he wouldn't allow Archie to use his characters (for free? For a fee?) I don't know see what's so wrong with that. If he really does own them, then that's perfectly within his rights. Heck, Alan Moore did the same thing with the characters he created for CAPTAIN BRITAIN, when it turned out Marvel UK was similarly sloppy with the paperwork.

Date: 2017-07-20 11:49 am (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
Yea, I think they lost the original paperwork or something like that, he *was* supposed to be work-for-hire... and Archie stopped using his characters when they rebooted several years ago (and they had to do this mid-story, unlike Moore's characters) but somehow it cropped up again or something (one speculation is another old person involved decided to launch a lawsuit taking advantage of the same problems... but again, Archie stopped using any character not-firmly-theirs many years ago). And now he thinks he can get Knuckles reprints made somehow where he gets paid... which considering Sega really dislikes him and it'd also require approval from others, is pretty much a zero-chance.

Oh yea, on Sega disliking him: He *also* sued Sega because he thought some of *their* Echidna characters in a video game were too close to *his* Echidna characters... which were derived from their character.

Basically he gives zero credit to the fact he was working on an existing property, made the work of his successors a lot harder, showed no sign of being interested in accommodating anyone, and even after they worked around that and stopped using them, there's still something and now a really good comic is over.

Imagine if the person *before* Moore claimed credit for the characters mid-Moore run to interrupt it, was involved with some other lawsuits with other involved people and claimed all credit for the series' success done more by said other people, and you'll roughly get the picture of what people think of him.
Edited Date: 2017-07-20 11:52 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-07-21 05:46 am (UTC)
laughing_tree: (Default)
From: [personal profile] laughing_tree
"(and they had to do this mid-story, unlike Moore's characters)"

From the timeline lbd posted below, it sounds like he first challenged copyright in April 2010 and the characters weren't removed until an October 2012 comic? It sounds like they would have had plenty of time to send them off in a non-abrupt manner if they'd chose.

"He *also* sued Sega because he thought some of *their* Echidna characters in a video game were too close to *his* Echidna characters... which were derived from their character."

So like Gaiman sued MacFarlane over Medieval Spawn, a character clearly based on Spawn? That doesn't sound unreasonable to me, provided he really didn't create the characters under work for hire. It's not about whether the character's derivative, but about whether you own the particular twist on the concept. Just like Marvel can't use someone's Spider-Man fanfic without permission just because it's based on their character.


I don't know, I'm sure I don't have the full story, and the guy does sound like a bit of a dick to his successors, but it feels like a lot of the anger is about how his actions harmed (admitttedly in a HUGE way) the comic. I can't help but be reminded of how every time a Marvel/DC vet or his heirs sue one of the Big Two, fans are angry that someone would dare try to disrupt Green Lantern or whoever's place in the precious shared universe. As if the livelihood and dignity of these real flesh and blood people is less important than the quality of future comic books...

Date: 2017-07-21 05:57 am (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
Didn't Gaiman also sue McFarlane over Angela and Cogliostro, in addition to Miracleman and shit? The former in particular was the reason the character ended up going to Marvel, while Cog never got used again.

Date: 2017-07-21 06:46 am (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
-From the timeline lbd posted below, it sounds like he first challenged copyright in April 2010 and the characters weren't removed until an October 2012 comic? It sounds like they would have had plenty of time to send them off in a non-abrupt manner if they'd chose.-

The thing is a ton of these characters were deeply involved in the setting by this point. They did some stuff and most weren't as major as they were but, like, by the point it appeared to be a serious concern, one of 'em was the right-hand man of the current leader of the kingdom, Julie-Su was always Knuckle's girlfriend, Mammath Mogul was a long-occurring villain (Not Penders, but once Penders did his thing they felt they couldn't safely use *any* of the old ones)...

-So like Gaiman sued MacFarlane over Medieval Spawn, a character clearly based on Spawn? That doesn't sound unreasonable to me, provided he really didn't create the characters under work for hire. It's not about whether the character's derivative, but about whether you own the particular twist on the concept. Just like Marvel can't use someone's Spider-Man fanfic without permission just because it's based on their character.-

They really aren't were close, like there's dark tribes of Echidnas in the game, but looks, personalities, etc. are all different.

It's more like if MacFarlane had made a different Medieval Spawn and then got sued over that.

-
I don't know, I'm sure I don't have the full story, and the guy does sound like a bit of a dick to his successors, but it feels like a lot of the anger is about how his actions harmed (admitttedly in a HUGE way) the comic. -

It definitely is.

I mean, he's also the type who tells fans they need to put 'copyright Ken Penders' on their fanart involving these characters (note: he's the writer, not artist), but that too.

-As if the livelihood and dignity of these real flesh and blood people is less important than the quality of future comic books...-

Flip that round. Ken cost a number of real flesh and blood writers and artists their jobs because he thought wanted to make his own spinoff of characters made in the Sonic comic, rather than just make his own with a similar concept, which he easily could've done (basically he just wanted to use the old names, he made them all aliens instead of Echidna anyway and really did not need the rights for jack).

Note there was never any question of him getting paid for reprints involving his work or anything like that. Archie was not being jerks in this in the sense that the Big 2 often have been over royalties and the like. This is more like a creator of a GL character or something not just wanting money for the Lantern they invented, but then wanting to go off and do their own separate comic with them and got the comic cancelled.

Date: 2017-07-22 06:11 am (UTC)
laughing_tree: (Default)
From: [personal profile] laughing_tree
"It's more like if MacFarlane had made a different Medieval Spawn and then got sued over that."

Well, that's actually what happened. MacFarlane created a "Dark Age Spawn" and Gaiman sued over it being too similar to his "Medieval Spawn."

"It definitely is."

See, I think that's wrong-headed. Creators' rights is much bigger than the quality of fictional stories. In terms of importance, creators' rights trumps fictional stories for sure.

"This is more like a creator of a GL character or something not just wanting money for the Lantern they invented, but then wanting to go off and do their own separate comic with them and got the comic cancelled."

If the person legitimately owned the GL copyright, I would support their choice, even while hating the consequences. If the only way a book can be published is through what is essentially theft, then it shouldn't be published.

Date: 2017-07-22 07:30 pm (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
This view, IMO, is basically a way of saying 'no licensed works may have new writers add characters.' If companies with licenses cannot keep any characters made as direct derivative of their licensed works in those licensed works when a writer leaves, that's not a good thing.

It is not 'theft,' these are people being paid to add on to someone else's work. What you're suggesting goes beyond what's in The Creator's Bill of Rights in not even allowing the possibility of companies hiring someone to make something for them and keeping it.

Someone's original works should be covered to be sure, but someone who's hiring to make a GL for a GL book shouldn't get to keep the GL. If the only way someone is allowed to play in a toybox is if they automatically remove all the toys they added when they're done, that's merely making multi-writer universes massively less viable, as anyone involved can pretty much sink it at any time.

Date: 2017-07-21 05:07 am (UTC)
laughing_tree: (Default)
From: [personal profile] laughing_tree
Thanks, though that isn't exactly an objective accounting. I mean, is there any actual reason to suspect that Penders stole the original signed document, like that poster theorizes?

I don't really care how shitty Pender's tastes, writing, or art supposedly are because none of that has any bearing on the matter of the morality behind the case. He could be the worst writer in the history of comics or the best and either way it wouldn't change the morality behind the case.

Date: 2017-07-21 09:24 am (UTC)
janegray: (Default)
From: [personal profile] janegray
You are right. But, honestly, at this point it's extremely difficult to find unbiased accountings of the events, because Pender's actions more or less caused 24 years' worth of stories to be thrown away with no resolution, and has a history of spewing vitriol at other fans over trivial matters, so fandom is very angry with him. If you search his name, you'll get a pile of "THIS GUY SUCKS!" memes.

lbd_nytetrayn seems to have found pretty much the only one.

Date: 2017-07-20 10:19 pm (UTC)
lbd_nytetrayn: Star Force Dragonzord Power! (Default)
From: [personal profile] lbd_nytetrayn
This is pretty much considered the best overview of the entire Penders situation: http://theamazingsallyhogan.tumblr.com/post/68112487973/sonic-the-hedgehog-ken-penders-bioware

Date: 2017-07-21 04:58 am (UTC)
laughing_tree: (Default)
From: [personal profile] laughing_tree
Yikes. This is fascinating stuff! I think that one judge quoted sums it up best: that this is a right fine mess...

And man, if it's true (and it sounds like it might not be) that this is all down to that one employee carelessly destroying old papers... how much do the Archie people probably want to murder him right now...

Date: 2017-07-20 10:50 pm (UTC)
dewinged: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dewinged
And didn't they cancel the comic mid-storyline? There should be a lot more noise about that. The people reading it should get their closure.

Date: 2017-07-21 05:45 am (UTC)
sarahnewlin: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sarahnewlin
It appears he is gloating about the issue on Twitter. Ppl are telling him to knock it off since he got what he wanted.

Date: 2017-07-21 01:10 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] zachbeacon
Well at least Sonic fans know it's going somewhere. Pretty sure Mega Man is still officially on "hiatus"

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