Ken Penders got fired from Archie Comics 4-5+ years ago and has spent presumably the entire duration of that time working on “The Lara-Su Chronicles”, a graphic novel continuation of characters he created for the Sonic the Hedgehog comic that he now claims sole ownership over. Archie Comics was incompetent enough to not have any legal way to stop him from doing this, and it kind of threw a big monkey wrench in to everything they were doing multiple times over the course of that process.
This is the cover for that graphic novel that he posted on Twitter today. It is a complete mess of characters that are too cartoony to appeal to adults and too frighteningly realistic to appeal to children.
According to Ken, he is in talks to make The Lara-Su Chronicles much more than just a graphic novel. I think he suggested he was trying to get a movie going, and if it’s anything like the teaser for his ironically forgotten “The Lost Ones" movie, then it’s going to be a low budget hilarity.
Presumably he’s doing all of this because nobody else would dare touch him with a ten foot pole. If he’s lucky, he’ll have retained enough fans from the Archie Comics days to carve out something resembling a niche. I’m at least interested in seeing how that shakes out.
Why hasn’t his art gotten better? I don’t know. All skills eventually plateau and even degrade as you fall in to habits and dig yourself in to a rut. Penders is punching way above his weight and is showing a clear lack of understanding in basic principals like… readable text. Busy light blue text on a busy dark blue background makes for something that is basically unintelligible unless you stop and take several seconds to examine it very closely. He does the same thing at the bottom, too; that’s a purple waterfall, and he put purple text over the top of it. Great job.
I’d say he should hire somebody else to handle this for him but presumably he might not have the resources for that. Unless he did hire somebody and this is their fault. I can’t decide if that’s better or worse.
If Ken did hire someone, their work would have been better than his disaster-of-a-graphic-novel.