Sonic

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TA
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Re: Sonic

Postby TA » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:30 pm

Ol' Kenny Penders decided to rear his ugly head again, yesterday. In almost the worst way. I think the Penders thread was on the last iteration of boards, so ... it's here. Because of course, he did it about Sonic.

Started with a pretty tame discussion between fans, as far as that intersection between "sonic fans" and "comic book fans" goes. The framing of the lawsuit, some information being presented and actually received as far as usability of characters and concepts. Went off in the direction of dating history in the comics, and again - for a conversation between fans of sonic, comics, and sonic comics, all pretty dang good!



And then ... Ken. Ken. Just has to get his foot in the door.



And he then he takes it to ... a PLACE.



Of course, Ken has to clarify things for everybody.



And then gets into the realm of calling out the people objecting as hypocrites.

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He starts to make it personal, but then brings it right back around to "technical age of consent" again. Does seem to love that.


And continues to attack people for questioning him, specifically, and not completely unrelated things.


Because, after all, he only did what seemed obvious.
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Thad
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Re: Sonic

Postby Thad » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:48 pm

Welp, that, uh, explains some things. Geoffrey / Sally *always* felt skeevy.

(Did Sonic really date Bunnie? I quit reading around...'97, '98? I heard she married Antoine.)

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Re: Sonic

Postby Brentai » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:01 pm

THE TARGET AUDIENCE

IS

PRETEENS
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Re: Sonic

Postby Thad » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:21 pm

...and I *know* he knew the target audience was 8-to-12-year-old boys, because he would remind us of that every. Single. TIME we complained about the book being condescending / simple / immature. "The target audience is 8-to-12-year-old boys" was always ready to go as an excuse (though I suppose he usually *did* say it in the context of "hey, it's not my fault; Sega won't let me do what I want to." Which...comes across a lot different in this context than, say, as a defense for why Sonic sleeps in a damn racecar bed even though he is ostensibly fifteen years old).

I guess authorial intent shone through? Because I wasn't *much* older than those twelve-year-olds, and I always thought Sinjin gave off a creeper vibe.

Course, I could have been more sensitive to that *because* I was a teen. I went to school with teenage girls who were dating older men, and those dudes were creepy as fuck.

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Re: Sonic

Postby Mongrel » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:26 pm

Brentai wrote:THE TARGET AUDIENCE

IS

PRETEENS

I think the fact that the publisher thought the target market was preteens while many of the artists and writers tried to do an end run around that dictum to make the series into whatever they liked, explains a lot about Sonic fandom.

I've always been slightly curious as to when it was that the bosses at Archie twigged to what was going on and just how much internal denial had led up to that point.
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Re: Sonic

Postby Thad » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:44 pm

Well, Sonic was really all over the map from the get-go (cute animals / tude / environmental message) and the mass media adaptations were just as confused. The comic started out as a Scott Shaw funny animal book, and then the Saturday morning cartoon made the baffling decision to take those same characters and stick them in a dark, dystopian setting (while the syndicated cartoon was more like the comic in tone but had a completely different mythology and supporting cast, and also both cartoons starred Urkel).

The SatAM cartoon attracted an older and more passionate fanbase (and, if you ask me, that's because it was actually good). Penders was one of the guys (with early collaborator Mike Kanterovich and SatAM alum Art Mawhinney) who pushed to make the comic more like the SatAM toon, while guys like Mike Gallagher and Dave Manak were more comfortable riffing on Shaw's version, and still other guys like Pat Spaziante were going for a more manga style.

That's about where it was when I left some twenty years ago. Since then there have been a fuckton more games, several other cartoons, and the main guy who's been writing the comics since about the turn of the century is another dude who was writing Sonic fanfic around the same time I was.

Combine all that with furry culture and the perfect timing of the fandom growing right as the internet was going mainstream, and...you still barely scratch the surface of why Sonic fandom is so, uh, unique.

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Re: Sonic

Postby TA » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:54 pm

Brentai wrote:THE TARGET AUDIENCE

IS

PRETEENS


Don't worry, ya boy has opinions on that too.



But don't be alarmed. It was actually one of the first things he addressed.

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Re: Sonic

Postby TA » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:01 pm

Thad wrote:...and I *know* he knew the target audience was 8-to-12-year-old boys, because he would remind us of that every. Single. TIME we complained about the book being condescending / simple / immature. "The target audience is 8-to-12-year-old boys" was always ready to go as an excuse (though I suppose he usually *did* say it in the context of "hey, it's not my fault; Sega won't let me do what I want to." Which...comes across a lot different in this context than, say, as a defense for why Sonic sleeps in a damn racecar bed even though he is ostensibly fifteen years old).


I guess he remembers the target audience thing differently, and more flattering to his version of events and the story he insists would have been perfectly appropriate to tell. Shocking, that.



Thad wrote:I guess authorial intent shone through? Because I wasn't *much* older than those twelve-year-olds, and I always thought Sinjin gave off a creeper vibe.

Course, I could have been more sensitive to that *because* I was a teen. I went to school with teenage girls who were dating older men, and those dudes were creepy as fuck.




a take for all seasons, this one
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Re: Sonic

Postby Bal » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:17 pm

Whoa whoa whoa, are you telling me that a skeevy weirdo has been involved in Sonic this whole time?


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Re: Sonic

Postby Mongrel » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:49 pm

I mean, I remember seeing what Penders would put up on DeviantArt. I'm not really surprised by anything he does or says re: Sonic after that.

What amazes me is that he managed to get hired to work on the comic in the first place.
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Re: Sonic

Postby Brentai » Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:37 pm

The inmates have always been running that asylum because nobody else knows what the fuck to do with it.
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Re: Sonic

Postby Thad » Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:27 am

TA wrote:
Thad wrote:...and I *know* he knew the target audience was 8-to-12-year-old boys, because he would remind us of that every. Single. TIME we complained about the book being condescending / simple / immature. "The target audience is 8-to-12-year-old boys" was always ready to go as an excuse (though I suppose he usually *did* say it in the context of "hey, it's not my fault; Sega won't let me do what I want to." Which...comes across a lot different in this context than, say, as a defense for why Sonic sleeps in a damn racecar bed even though he is ostensibly fifteen years old).


I guess he remembers the target audience thing differently, and more flattering to his version of events and the story he insists would have been perfectly appropriate to tell. Shocking, that.

It's possible that he's talking about something that happened later on down the line; Sega was really all over the fucking map trying to reinvent Sonic around the time I quit reading it. Let's get rid of the Freedom Fighters! Let's bring them back! Let's split up Sonic and Sally! Let's have them get back together! Let's make it more like the games! Let's bring in a bunch of unused material from the cartoon show! They did seem to be continually vacillating between reinventing Sonic for a new generation and catering to the shrinking but dedicated existing fanbase (see also: the rest of the comics industry), so I don't find it farfetched that at some point after I left the fandom Sega was considering retooling the comic to skew older.

Regardless, no, I do not believe there has ever been any time that Sega would have been okay with addressing sex in a Sonic property.

I think there is some potential value in uncomfortable conversations about teenagers, sex, and consent, but that (1) Twitter is a terrible fucking place to try and have that or any conversation and (2) the Sonic the Hedgehog comic book is a worse one.

Brentai wrote:The inmates have always been running that asylum because nobody else knows what the fuck to do with it.


The funny thing is that the guy who's our age and got hired out of the fan community seems to be highly-regarded and professional and, to the best of my knowledge, has never had a conversation like this one on Twitter.

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Re: Sonic

Postby Thad » Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:44 am

Come to think of it, you know who's had a pretty good career post-Sonic? Karl Bollers, the guy who was the main writer after Penders and before Flynn.

He got an Eisner nomination a few years back for Watson and Holmes (not to be confused with Holmes and Watson, the poorly-received film starring Will Ferrell and John C Reilly) and is currently Senior Editor at Valiant.

I've got some opinions on Valiant, too, that are...probably a little less complicated than my opinions on IDW Transformers, but those can wait for another day. I don't think I've actually read any of the ones published since Bollers came onboard.

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Re: Sonic

Postby Lyrai » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:15 am

I feel it's my duty to point out that Geoffrey looked a lot like Penders. Or an Ideal Sonic-Character Penders.

So, he wants to fuck Amy.

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Re: Sonic

Postby Brentai » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:41 am

He's what happens when the current writer most identifies with Gary Oak.
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Re: Sonic

Postby Thad » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:20 pm

While Penders is one of Sinjin's creators, Art Mawhinney drew him in his first appearance.

Penders is an artist so it's entirely possible he drew up some initial sketches of Geoffrey for Mawhinney to use as reference; that's quite common in comics, particularly where the writer is also an artist.

But absent confirmation that that's what happened, I would suggest we give Mawhinney full credit for Geoffrey's design.

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Re: Sonic

Postby TA » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:32 pm

I mean, you don't have to be the first and only creator of a character to take them over, start drawing and writing them as a self-insert, redesign him with a mustache to look more like you ...
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Re: Sonic

Postby Thad » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:33 pm

Can't speak to that with any certainty (it's the first I'm even hearing about Geoffrey having a mustache), but by the time I quit reading Sonic, Ken wasn't really driving the art direction, Pat Spaziante was. I know there were a lot of character redesigns around the release of Sonic Adventure; the changes to the characters from the games were, of course, driven by Sega corporate, but I'm not sure offhand who was in charge of the Freedom Fighter redesigns. (I'd guess Spaziante again, as his anime style was very much what Sega was going for at the time, but I don't know.)

My recollection is that Penders still had some influence at that point, but was mostly working on the Mobius: 20 Years Later backup feature, not the main, present-day stuff (which I believe was still mostly running under Bollers at that point; not sure about the art team except Spaziante was on covers and Dawn Best drew some stories around that time).

If Geoffrey's new look first showed up in 20YL, then yeah, there's a good chance Ken was responsible for it.

ETA: Twitter trouble. I couldn't see the tweet when I wrote this post. Now I can see the text but not the pic.

If this is a new redesign for Ken's creator-owned books, then yeah obviously he's responsible for that.

ETA 2: OK, now that I can finally see the image, yep, you guys are right, that looks an awful lot like a self-portrait. Sorry about the confusion; I thought we were talking about his look in the Archie comics, not a brand new redesign.

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