Weird thing is, I struggled to try and come up with what to write about for next month's letters for some time. Part of me worried I would end the letters with this batch.
However, a day or two before it was time to send the November batch, it came to me. I knew what to make the topic for December's batch.
As I'm certain you are all aware, it's become a common agreement that Ken Penders' Lara-Su Chronicles, the story that Archie Sonic got pretty much neutered for, is already doomed to failure, and Ken Penders is too wrapped up in his own little world to see it coming. His story is not going to sell thanks to the legal mess that lead to it being allowed to exist, because a lot of Archie Sonic fans are mad at him over it. Either it'll collect dust on comic book store shelves, or Sega will sue Ken Penders, and quite possibly win, because his redesigns of his characters still look too much like how they did back when they were Archie Sonic characters. Plenty of Archie Sonic fans don't expect anything less to occur.
Well, that's what this month's batch of letters will be about. I would like for the topic of next month's letters to be to ask Sega and Archie that, if The Lara-Su Chronicles fails badly enough that Ken Penders has to sell his characters just to recoup his losses (on the admittedly VERY unlikely chance The Lara-Su Chronicles failing give his ego the deflating that it so DESPERATELY needs, and opens his eyes to what he did), they should come forward to him willing to buy them.
Once again, I cannot guarantee this idea will work. I mean, let's take a step back and look at it. This is Ken Penders we're talking about. This is the guy who thought there was enough of a similarity between The Nocturnus Clan and Shade the Echidna in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, and The Dark Legion and Julie-Su respectively, to warrant a lawsuit. This is the guy who's whole attitude towards both the anger over his actions, and any criticisms he's received over this whole thing, both constructive and destructive, can pretty much be summed up as smug dismissal. This is the guy who's so sure The Lara-Su Chronicles is going to be a hit that (I'm not sure if this is true anymore, if it is, please link me to where it's from) he's pretty much staking everything on it. Does this sound like the kind of guy who would sell his characters? Of course not.
And even then, I also, of course, can't guarantee that Archie and Sega would be willing to go through with it. The lawsuit was, what, just over a year ago? You think Archie and Sega would be willing to undo the reboot so soon? Of course not. It's way too soon. Even then, my dad opened up a whole other can of worms about what I thought was a sound plan. He told me that if I'm not careful, I could end up facing a harassment suit from Archie and/or Sega. He said they might sue me for a million dollars. However, he and I believe that if that were to happen, they would not jump right to a lawsuit. Most likely one of their lawyers would issue me a cease-and-desist warning first.
Does it mean I won't go through with the fourth batch of letters? I'll admit, the thought of being sued made me more reticent to sending them, but I suppose I can still make them, wait and see if I get a cease-and-desist warning before the twentieth of next month, and if I don't, send them. Admittedly, it does make me worried I might not get a cease-and-desist warning the day AFTER this batch is sent. Would the I-didn't-recieve-the-warning-until-after-that-particular-batch-was-sent defense hold up in court? Would the fact that I'm not the only one sending these letters decrease the chances of such legal actions occurring, by any chance? (added) Better yet, how long would it take before Archie and/or Sega send me a cease-and-desist warning? I do hope it's not right after I send the straw that breaks the camel's back, and I have to make a mad dash hoping against hope that the letters haven't already left the post office. Sorry, that just really worries me. I can't really afford a lawsuit, you see.
Well, best get started. If anyone out there wishes to join me, if anyone out there still cares for the old continuity and wants to see its stories gets some much-needed closure, please join me in this venture.
Thursday, November 20th, 2014
Sega of Japan
Canal Side Building
1-39-9, Higashi-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku
I am typing this in regards to the changes made to the Sonic the Hedgehog licensed comic book currently being made by Archie comics. As you are aware, due to a still-fairly-recent legal battle involving one of Archie Comics' former writers, one Ken Penders, you renegotiated the agreement between you and Archie Comics for continued use of the license to Sonic The Hedgehog. This involved instilling a series of mandates against them dictating what can and cannot be done in the comic. This has resulted in a reboot that has seen the comic go in a radically different direction from what is was going in before, rewriting the comic's timeline, and removing several characters.
Let me first say that I can understand why this course of action was taken. You trusted Archie comics with the license to what was, at the time, a very lucrative intellectual property for you. As such, you expected Archie Comics to handle things in a professional manner. As a result, when it was revealed that Archie either lost, or didn't get one of their writers to sign, a Work For Hire contract, you were understandably angry that Archie would create a situation in which you could have been sued a one of their former writers, and he would have won. Also, you at Sega already had an established idea of what you wanted of Sonic the Hedgehog, and what you wanted it to be, and for years the comic went against that idea. So, when the legal mess happened, you decided then to bring the comic more in line with what you wanted of it. These are legitimate things for someone in your position to feel, and you should not be faulted for feeling that way.
However, I would like to believe you are also aware of the ramifications these actions have had. Ever since the reboot, several fans of the Archie Sonic Comic have been very upset at the changes. Namely, they do not like that the version of Sonic The Hedgehog, the world in which it exists, and the characters in it that they have grown attached to over the course of the comic's 22+-year run, have been unceremoniously removed from it, with their chances of returning being incredibly low. This anger has persisted for approximately a year now, which I would say is an indication of how much this incarnation of Sonic The Hedgehog has come to mean to them, and how upset they are that this incarnation has been changed to the point that it is essentially no longer their preferred incarnation of him.
As was previously stated, all this came about because Archie either never got Ken Penders to sign, or lost, his Work For Hire contract. However, would evidence that it existed, and that Ken Penders signed it, suffice? I would suggest that you put this into consideration. If security footage of Ken Penders signing a Work For Hire contract were to come up, it could be proof of who really owns the characters he created, and would cause ownership of said characters to thereby revert back to you.
Now let me say that I can understand that this may not sound like a very desirable action for you to take. Between finding yourselves in a position where you were at risk of being sued, and getting the comic more in line with the games, you are more than likely to just let the matter rest as it currently is. However, I would advise against taking this course of action. The anger from several fans about the reboot has persisted for over a year at this point, which I would say is an indication of how much the previous Archie Sonic continuity has come to mean to them. These people are passionate about that incarnation of Sonic, and wish to have it back, as unlikely as that is to happen.
Let me also say that I am aware that there are people who like the Archie Sonic continuity the way it is now. I would be willing to allow favoured characters and elements from the current continuity into the previous one if it would appease them. After all, if they have found something in the previous continuity that they like, it would help to bring it into the current one. However, I am sorry to say that this will not dissuade the fans of the previous continuity from wanting it back. They are firm in what they want of the comic, as much as it may nope happen.
Tsurumi-sama, I highly suggest you take what I have written into consideration. The anger over the reboot will not go away simply because you want it to. The fans of the previous continuity will not give it up simply because you want them to. People aren't that simple. While you are unlikely to listen to these fans, I would advise ignoring them, as that will only result in the anger persisting. And it is likely to as long as things remain the way that they are.
That is all I have to say on this subject. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I hope you give what I have said serious consideration.
Likes: 80s Cult Films, Deviantart, Mega Man, & Sonic The Hedgehog.|
Dislikes: People who fave but never comment (I am SO sick of it.), Cartoons on TV nowadays, & Hip Hop Music.
For additional information, see Devious Info section below.
Current Residence: Toronto, Ontario, Scarborough, Canada.
Favourite genre of music: Any from 1950 to 1999 (except for pop & hip hop).
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Favourite cartoon character: Flaky, Bugs, Sylvester, Fifi La Fume, Minerva Mink, Homer Simpson, Petunia, Giggles, Cuddles, Jude.