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Ken Penders is a former artist and the former main writer for the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series published by Archie Comics. He first worked on Sonic the Hedgehog #11 and continued working on the book until Sonic the Hedgehog #159 where upon he was succeeded as the primary writer for the series by Ian Flynn. Penders is known for creating many of the characters that were part of Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comic series in the pre-Super Genesis Wave timeline.
Penders is the creator of many of the comic exclusive characters that once populated the series before his lawsuit with Archie Comics. He also designed the cover art to the Sonic the Hedgehog full series DVD box set.
Although often considered a major influence on Archie Sonic's established universe and easily one of the most involved creators to work on the franchise, several of Penders' decisions when writing for Archie, as well as several of his recurring writing habits, have been the subject of criticism from both fans and formal critics. Notable criticisms include the glut of characters introduced in his stories, a visible disregard for story elements established in the series' source material, a penchant for secret family members and monologue, and a lack of distinguishing features between characters of his creation. Since his disputes with ACP came to light, fan reception of him and his future works has been mostly negative; with many placing the sole blame on him for the removal of his concepts from the series.
Penders' artwork throughout the series has also come under heavy criticism, with the most common of complaints being of dis-proportioned character models and designs (most likely due to avoidance of further legal action from opposition parties), usage of stock images as background artwork, and even accusations of tracing.
Another criticized aspect of Penders' tenure was his apparent inability to work in agreement with other writers on the series. Penders has often been known for going ahead with his own projects while paying very little attention to any continuity that other writers established in other stories. This disregard for his fellow creatives is believed to be what caused fellow head writer Karl Bollers to leave the series.
- Ken Penders is so far the only Archie Comics staff member to take the highest amount of production roles in the franchise (excluding unsolicited works), totaling to five roles (writing, pencils, inks, colors and letters).