Posted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:03 pm
The ROYAL SECRET SERVICE Is Looking For A Few Good Recruits
I just received the prototype of the very first product produced under the banner of my Floating Island Productions. I'll let the picture speak for itself before getting into the details:
Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:21 am
It's a fully embroidered patch, 3" in diameter, featuring the emblem worn by Geoffrey St. John and members of the Royal Secret Service on their berets, jackets and vests, similar in style and manner to the patches worn by the US Military, as will be seen in THE LARA-SU CHRONICLES.
The goal with this product and others yet to come is to allow readers an opportunity to become part of the world the characters and settings exist in.
While many may have been expecting a comic book or a sneak preview of the actual graphic novel or a T-shirt or poster featuring a favorite character, those are yet to come. For now, as I said, I'm just starting small and building to something bigger.
I know I initially said I wasn't saying anything until Black Friday, but the information I was supplied with erred happily on the cautious side. Thus, when I received the prototype today, I decided to launch now.
The patches are $8.00 each plus $2.00 shipping and handling. Anyone intending to purchase more than one of the item please contact me first so I can confirm a shipping price. Payment can be made to me either via Paypal at KenPenders@kenpenders.com or by sending a check or money order made out to me mailed to 12147 Woodley Ave., Granada Hills, CA 91344-2846.
The first batch of patches will be ready for shipping on December 7, 2013, and will be mailed on a first come-first serve basis.
Check back for future announcements of other upcoming releases. Thank you.
Congrats To Gary Friedrich
I wish to congratulate Gary Friedrich, the creator of the Marvel Comic character "Ghost Rider", on achieving his settlement with Disney/Marvel. I can only imagine how tough a road it was he traveled, but he prevailed in the end.
Posted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:16 am
While some are already treating this settlement as inevitable or Gary capitulating to Marvel, neither scenario could be further from the truth.
Disney/Marvel caved, and they will now have to settle on Gary's terms, not theirs. There may be some announcement when the case is finally closed that acknowledges a mutual agreement with each party paying for their own legal costs, but trust me, in reality it won't be Gary's pockets the funds to pay his lawyers are coming from.
First, some disclaimers are in order. Despite whatever tenuous connection I may have to Gary, I have no personal knowledge of his case, especially anything said between him and his counsel. The following is strictly my analysis based on my own personal experiences in my legal fight with Archie Comics. Been there, done that, so I have some perspective. One other note: my analysis of Gary's situation is not an acknowledgement of any kind with any arrangement I may or may not have with Archie Comics as a result of our agreement.
When Judge Danny Chin overturned Judge Katherine Forrest's initial ruling in favor of Disney/Marvel on appeal, Disney/Marvel had only two choices: go to trial or settle. And when Judge Forrest set a court date for trial two weeks after Judge Chin's ruling for a December trial, I was willing to bet the farm this was one fight Disney/Marvel was not eager for their crack team of lawyers to take on in court.
As it turned out, I was right. Gary had absolutely nothing to lose by going to trial. If he lost, there was nothing for Disney/Marvel to collect from him, and his health precluded anyone from ever hoping to claim a piece of him in the long-term. His lawyers probably had his case ready to be filed in bankruptcy court in the event the jury ruled against him.
If Gary had been the one to push the button for a settlement, he would be totally at Disney/Marvel's mercy. Therefore, there was absolutely no motivation on Gary's part to agree to settle. So why did he settle? The reason: Disney/Marvel came to him with an offer he couldn't turn down, and that offer had to be substantial enough to make what he went through the last several years worthwhile enough to agree not to go to court.
Disney/Marvel's lawyers reached out to Gary's lawyers and more than likely offered a six, maybe seven figure down payment, legal costs, royalties from the sale of any future product, his creator credit forever established and acknowledged on any future product where appropriate, plus a supply of any Ghost Rider product for him to merchandise and promote as long as he is able and/or willing to.
Already I can hear the naysayers claiming the agreement was not as one-sided as that. Actually, yeah, it more than likely was.
The last thing in this world Disney/Marvel wanted more than anything to avoid was having 12 citizens decide their company was essentially built on a house of cards, and having those 12 citizens rule in Gary's favor in such a manner that every creator who worked for Marvel back in the day would decide it was time they too would collect their share of the loot from the Disney/Marvel bank vault.
The trial would have instructed every lawyer in America how to represent their client - the Marvel creator - in court against the company their client formerly contributed work to. Worse yet, both Stan Lee and his famed Marvel Method of storytelling could have been totally discredited, laying the groundwork for the late Jack Kirby's heirs living in CA to base their reclamation of their father's share of the copyrights for the works he co-created with Stan. That aspect alone probably reigned in the Disney/Marvel legal bulldogs from going all out however much they wanted to against Gary.
A loss for Marvel as a result of trial would be far more catastrophic than any settlement Gary could ever receive from Disney/Marvel.
Beyond avoiding trial, Disney/Marvel would also want to make certain Gary himself, and anyone else connected with him, would not be able to discuss any of the agreed-upon terms in public. While people such as myself would be speculating, Disney/Marvel's goal would be to prevent any creators from getting any ideas on how to proceed with their own claims. They're basically doing everything they can to run out the clock on the creators as they grow old and die.
Whatever Gary receives in the end will probably amount to no more than the catering bill for THE AVENGERS film on Disney/Marvel's balance sheets. Disney/Marvel won't miss a single red cent paid out. To Disney/Marvel, this is all about risk and damage control at this point.
As for Gary, he probably will also be included on the Disney/Marvel health care plan, which will be a great relief to him and his family once that occurs. He'll also finally be able to live out his life in a manner that every creator - in this case, whoever contributed to the building of Marvel Comics that enabled its current success as Disney/Marvel - should be entitled to.
While the details are still in the process of being worked out, the end result is now inevitable. Disney/Marvel is not going to pull out and end up going to trial, however much their PR machine may put out that Gary never legally stood a chance. The truth is that Gary did have a case, he fought and persevered, and now he gets to take a victory lap as the creator of the Ghost Rider.
Congrats, Gary. You deserve the win.
The KICKSTARTER Initiative
As some of you may have heard, there is a segment of Sonic fandom that has approached me with the goal of licensing the characters I created that were featured in stories published by Archie Comics which I own the Copyrights on, with the intent of allowing Archie to continue using my characters in their ongoing SONIC THE HEDGEHOG series.
Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:53 pm
Before I go any further, some disclaimers are necessary.
First, I had nothing to do with the idea and legwork involved with this plan. Questions were asked, and I responded to the best of my ability within the parameters I could respond.
Second, nor did current SONIC writer Ian Flynn - or any of his message board administrators - have anything to do with the concoction of the plan or anything to do with shepherding it along into fruition. The fact the discussion apparently began on his board is incidental to the entire proceeding. I imagine Ian's got enough to deal with without anyone laying the blame at his feet for this.
Third, I have an agreement in place with Archie Comics, as has been reported elsewhere, so there are elements of the plan of which I've seen questions asked which I can neither confirm or deny without breaching any confidentiality in place between the parties.
That said, given the fact I own my copyrights and am developing THE LARA-SU CHRONICLES for various media platforms, which involves the licensing of my characters for various purposes, it is a fair question when someone asks "are you selling your characters?" or "how much would it cost to license your characters?"
So let's start with the first question: Are you selling your characters?
The short answer is no.
The longer answer is after all I've been through to establish my claims to my characters and works, there is no way they are for sale. While the cynical would retort every man has his price, the reality is that I can't imagine any party likely to offer anywhere near my asking price. And that's fine with me. I'd rather finish telling the story of these characters, as I believe in the opportunities these characters and stories represent to me.
So if I'm not selling my characters, one could surmise I'm open to licensing my characters, and they would indeed be correct. However, the version of the characters I'm most interested in licensing is how they appear in THE LARA-SU CHRONICLES.
As for how they appear anywhere else, that's another matter.
I've already gone on record stating that The Powers That Be at Archie Comics can use my characters anytime, but whether they would be willing to do so is another matter, which is their right.
With this KICKSTARTER initiative coming on the heels of the release of SONIC #252, it seems some fans have different ideas.
Since I already have enough people clamoring for my head on a pike as being greedy, selfish, unreasonable and so on, and since the question was asked in all seriousness and sincerity, I decided to respond in kind, with the caveat that my response and terms I set down are neither confirmation or denial of any points of agreement I may or may not have with Archie Comics.
As Ethan Davis, the person who initially approached me with the questions in the first place, provided me the link to see for myself the discussion that was going on over on Ian's message board, I did check out several of the posts, which is a rarity as I barely have time to read and respond what's posted on my own message board. Still, it allowed me to see what concerns needed addressing that I may not have contemplated when initially responding to Ethan.
Originally, I had stated to Ethan how Archie Comics would have access to my complete library of characters for use in all-new stories with the following conditions:
A) There are only three untouchable characters: Julie-Su, Locke and Lara-Su. The only thing anyone at Archie Comics would have to run by me regarding any of my characters is if they wanted to kill off a certain character. Beyond that, anything in the present day timeline is fair game. Have fun.
B) With regards to the use of the characters Julie-Su and Locke in the present day timeline, nothing must contradict what was established in my MOBIUS: 25 YEARS LATER stories. Those stories, especially Locke's death, are canon as far as THE LARA-SU CHRONICLES and I'm concerned.
C) Lara-Su is the only character in which any story featuring her which Archie Comics wishes to put into production MUST be reviewed and approved by me.
With regards to any contradictions between what's already established in the series and my requirements here, that's for the creators on the book to figure out how to make it work. I'm trying to stay as much out of their business as they are of mine. I've made my peace with the present day timeline a long time ago, being perfectly happy to settle for playing in the sandbox I'm building for THE LARA-SU CHRONICLES.
But after much discussion with those whose guidance has helped immensely over the past several years since this whole undertaking began, I have come to the conclusion that it doesn't matter what I agree to if Archie Comics doesn't share the same objectives.
While I appreciate and am supportive of the fans' efforts to see my characters back in the pages of the SONIC series, it is up to them to convince Archie Comics it is in their best interests and that of the long-term success of the SONIC series that my characters play a part in that universe once again.
I could suggest buying more copies of the books reprinting my works, but that sounds way too self-serving. I could suggest many other things, but that would sound like I'm an active participant in this endeavor when in truth I am not.
If anyone actually wishes to engage in licensing my characters for whatever product they wish to produce, I will gladly put them in touch with my attorneys at the present time.
As for the money raised should the initiative actually get off the ground, I believe I have a better chance of convincing people Monopoly money is legit tender than actually seeing one red cent that any of the fans pledge, as it'll take more than me to make this work. So while any dollar amount I quoted Ethan more than likely would have been considered reasonable by the great majority of fans, I suspect releasing those numbers would again imply an involvement on my part in the initiative far beyond the reality.
There's also the matter of Ian probably having a year's worth of stories already planned out. After the year he's been through, give the man a break in expecting to make massive adjustments yet again on the fly because of this.
I wish Ethan the best of luck on his endeavors, and that's all I have to say on this matter.
THE LARA-SU CHRONICLES Update and Other Matters
Due to untimely circumstances, my webmaster Bob Repas is currently not in the best of health and therefore unable to currently address tech problems such as I'm currently experiencing with my e-mail. During this time, the best way to contact me via alternate means is through private communication via this website's message board or sending e-mail to my back-up KenPenders@yahoo.com address. I appreciate your patiience and understanding during this time.
Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:08 am
In the meantime, progress is being made on THE LARA-SU CHRONICLES in a number of ways.
For starters, Producer-Director Larry Houston and I have been meeting regularly, upon which I run by him the latest story developments. In writing the script for the first book, I'm also constructing a more comprehensive outline for the entire 7-book story, which means everything that occurs during the story in any of the books has consequences. So I've been using Larry as a sounding board since whatever I produce is not just the basis for a graphic novel, but a film script as well.
In working out the details, a lot of questions are going to be resolved in a definitive manner, including clarifying previous discrepancies such as which order the various Guardians assumed the title of Praetorian along with other details that slipped through the cracks when submitting stories on a monthly deadline.
The Lara-Su website is currently a victim of my technical issues, but I'm working to at least have some Data Files if not other material up by sometime during the month of September. The goal is to start small and keep adding material on a steady basis. As for the story itself, while it is being illustrated, it is being done so in a manner to allow for changes, such as the slight addition I just made to the opening segment, which allows for a more emotional payoff later on in another part of the story. (Another factor that comes into play when making any story changes is not just adjustments to the art, but also to various language translations. When the story itself goes live, it will be available in no less than three - and hopefully more - different languages as it's intended for a more global audience.
There were also a couple of promotional Lara-Su efforts I was going to announce, but have decided to hold off until the website is officially launched. As much as I'd like to talk about them, I'd rather make certain everything is hitting on all cylinders before I do.
In the meantime, thanks for all the words of support. It's very much appreciated.
In Answer To Inquiries For Original Art and Back Issues...
I've been getting asked more frequently these days what back issues or pieces of original art do you have for sale, so I can save some time and respond to everyone at the same time, you can follow the items my better half Bernadette lists on Ebay at the following link:
Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:38 pm
There you'll find a number of SONIC back issues, original cover art and other pieces as well as proof sheets and other collectibles. She also lists non-Sonic items such as my STAR TREK issues and original art as well as other items I had nothing to do with.
Feel free to browse and inquire you have any questions. She will be listing whatever issues of the KNUCKLES i have available in my backstock very soon along with other surprises.
On a separate but related note, once I get past the launch of THE LARA-SU CHRONICLES website, I will find time to take on art commission requests that people have been asking about. Once my e-mail is back up and running, I will be responding to questions regarding specific requests. Thank you.
Sorry about the outage for the past couple of days. No, I haven't gone anywhere, but Bob Repas, my webmaster, has been incapacitated due to illness, and unable to address the situation until just a short while ago. My e-mail is still out and Bob is working on that, but he can only work a bit at a time until the wind is out of his sails. Hopefully, he'll see improvement once he checks in with the doctor tomorrow, but in the meantime, I hope everyone just cuts us some slack until we see how things go on this end.
If anyone needs to reach me with a question, a comment and/or a request, please use the Private Message option available on my message board. I will see it and respond.
You can also keep up to date with my Twitter feed at @KenPenders
I was going to provide details of how I was offering an original Lara-Su hand-drawn comic art illustration to the first 10 fans who responded to the announcement, but I'm holding off for now with the details until my e-mail is 100% up and running.
Thanks for your patience and understanding.
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