Ken Penders versus Archie Comics...
Above: SONIC THE HEDGEHOG writer and penciler, Ken Penders.
Ken Penders continues to claim ownership of stories and characters that he wrote and penciled during his time on SONIC THE HEDGEHOG. Penders states that he never signed a work-made-for-hire contact with Archie Comics.
Bleeding Cool reports that "The Ken Penders/Archie Comics Lawsuit Continues."
From Bleeding Cool:
But despite this Ken [Penders] is stating that he never signed any such contract and is asking for the original documents. He also cites Scott Shaw and Elliot Maggin as previous Archie freelancers that weren't given a contract to sign, despite multiple requests in Shaw's case.
In a declaration, Archie Comics president Mike Pellerito states that Maggin has "no relation whatsoever to ACP" despite the fact that he has credits for the company. Mike does question why Ken has only got statements from so few creators rather then the vast majority.
Well, that’s because the Archie Comics' work-made-for-hire contract that we signed (however unfortunate) states that creators can not discuss Archie Comics business outside of Archie Comics. Of course comic book creators will be hesitant to speak out against a publisher if they think that their statements might become actionable. It’s not because such creators support that particular publisher or that they feel some sort of loyalty to that particular publisher. It’s just that these creators don’t want to be sued. And comic book creators are sued more often than you think.
As Colleen Doran once stated:
I’d be even happier if Archie Comics actually did value and treasure its creators. They have one of the worst work for hire agreements I have ever seen. I refused to sign. Because I have too much respect for myself, not to mention Dan DeCarlo.
I first blogged about Ken Penders’ problems with Archie Comics with "Who owns Sonic?".