@RedAuthar: Yeah, LOL, actually I was gonna say, there is something really strange to me about engaging in this sort of online discussion. The interface with others is much less natural. (Then again, if I type something stupid, I can sometimes delete it before I hit "post"; wish I could do that in "real life.")
And I don't know why I started arguing with you about the Marvel thing, since I don't really know anything about the issue. I will have to give you the benefit of a doubt on that...
I guess my personality just lends itself to being on the defense. Ken Penders can be very obnoxious at times (and his Lien-Da design looks like something out of my worst nightmares), but he gets so much hate, so I feel like I need to at least put in a good defense for him.
And I'm still very much bothered by that one piece of fan art that somehow made it to the front page of FUS, with Sally flicking off Ken Penders, as I recall. That really hurt.
I agree with you that, theoretically, if you're writing for a comic like Sonic the Hedgehog, it only seems natural that the copyright to characters you create for it would go over to the licensor. But the fact is, matters like that can't be handled just based on assumptions; they need to be settled via contract. I really don't understand why Archie didn't do this, but the fact is they didn't.
Perhaps part of the problem is that the focus is on Ken Penders. But it's not just him: Scott Shaw also makes the very same claims:
Also, Nigel Kitching and the other writers for Sonic the Comic make the same claim about their work. Of course, that is a different comic, but the point is, people don't hate on them and say they're insane.
I think the Lara-Su Chronicles is going to be terrible, and that Ken Penders would be better off selling groceries or something. But nonetheless I do believe that he and his fellow artists and writers should receive royalties for their work, as they own the copyright to their work due to Archie's apparent negligence.
I think the most important thing to remember is this: Absolutely nothing is stopping Archie from including Ken Penders' characters in their comics. That would simply require that he'd get royalties for it. Archie could have considered the fact that thousands of fans were invested in the comic story, and decided that it would be worth giving over a little of their money for it.
Instead, they just thought, "Well, we can sell the comic and give Ken Penders money, or we can sell the comic and not give Ken Penders money," without the slightest thought for the actual content of the comic and what it means for a story when you suddenly delete half the characters. (I personally have come to be okay with the previous canon coming to an end, especially since it ended with that epic Shard story; but I know a lot of people are still upset about it.)
I guess this is what I find so frustrating, that everyone's pinning the blame on Ken Penders when it is very clear to me that the higher-ups at Archie are the ones who are at fault.