Friday, March 7, 2014

Rip-Off Artist (Hack Job Fail VI)

On the left: the work of a pathetic hack... On the right: the work of a consummate craftsman.

     Dovetailing off of the recent post about another schmuck who stole from a friend and fellow cartoonist: this one merits resurrection of the occasional series spotlighting really bad examples of folks ripping off artist's work. In this exceptionally sad case, it isn’t even “appropriation” by any stretch… it’s a cheap, crappy hack that thoroughly pollutes the original piece by literally adding insult (thinking your impoverished imagination is an improvement on the creator’s) to injury (ripping shit off).
     Clever to crop off the copyright …but still too stupid to remove the artist’s name. And that name would be one of the great talents in single-panel comics from the 90's: Sidewalk Bubblegum by Clay Butler. The feature's been retired for a while, but check out the on-line archives here, and on a related cartooning side-topic, check out Butler’s insightful tutorial on inking here.
     And speaking of naming names, that's a Facebook screen-grab from the anonymous "Samuel Greenberg" which/who cross-posts from a New-Age feelgood "Sun Gazing"collective - think patchouli + tie-dyed Borg (and no I won't link to them). People whose stock in trade is misleading herds of delusional followers - over 200k - with an effervescent effluent of woo wouldn't think for a minute about the ethics of polluting something like the work of an artist. The irony being that this is the same crowd who of all folks should know that karma's (gonna be) a bitch.

Exhibit B posted here is a sample from another of these endlessly proliferating humor aggregate sites whose operators lack any originality or personal talent and function instead as amoral, ignorant parasites. Compared to Exhibit A, this tick had the foresight and ability to completely remove the artist's name and copyright, but it's still an exceptionally and immediately recognizable style. This particular one had 328,338 "likes" which the deliberately uncredited creator (Dan Piraro's "Bizarro" - who has a special post up on his blog here dedicated to just this issue) no doubt would have appreciated a fraction of the redirected traffic and potential income. Schmucks.

Last but not least in the triumvirate of toonists would be another recent example made from modifying a Clay Bennett panel, whose legions of followers descended upon the perpetrator in an attempt to shame an avowed Libertarian into respecting his intellectual property rights (oh the irony).
"Intellectual property theft is rampant on the internet. And although I've come to terms with the unauthorized use of my work, my patience ends when someone alters one of my cartoons to reflect their own political perspective. That's usually the only instance in which I'll enforce my authority as the copyright holder."

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for alerting me to this. I had no idea someone took one of my favorite comics and made it worse, and then claimed it as their own.