I am a thief!
Bear with me as I bare my bareless soul in this confession. It will be a long post but I guarantee both informative and entertaining.
A few days ago in my post about my guest cartoon at CockNBull Webcomic, I lamented that I unbeknowingly stole the the idea. Here is what I said:
Tonight or tomorrow, I will tell the story of shame that I have for not realizing until I looked at it again last week, that I had lifted the idea from someone who is bright, talented, good looking, and a hero to us all. I will put up my apology then.
Bonus points if you know who and what cartoon.
Well no one gathered to make a guess. Oh, I know George Ford (of Addanac City fame) was all aglow as he clicked on the link to the comic at CockNBull thinking he was the unfortunate soul who was robbed of his intellectual property. But of course he was wrong and never came back. It would not have been the first time Mr Ford has called me out because just a week ago after posting this cartoon:
He sent me the following email (I deleted all the nice things he wrote for effect):
Unh-huh. Plagiarism, scandal, and libel! I see how you roll, Mr. Man.
I was reading your cartoon on the newspaper industry and it reminded me of this:
But you will be getting an email from my lawyer. 🙂
To which I responded:
Then again, I looked at the link and there were no comments. Now you might say you lost all your comments when you switched over to hosting on comicpress but I say if a cartoonists draws something and noone comments does it count?
Some have said that George has been rehashing jokes that were written as far back as the pyramids of Egypt. Don’t believe me, check out his site today (then check it out tomorrow, and again for about 200 days after that). Oh and make sure you leave a comment on the site….he really hates when people do that.
Anyway, I am digressing more than Brit at Blunt Delivery in trying to tell this story.
Comic Strip and editorial cartoonists have been doing the same bits as each other for decades. Bill of Comics I don’t Understand refers to two comic strip cartoonists doing the same gag in the same day as “Synchronicity” Daryl Cagle uses the term “Yahtzee” to refer to times when five or more editorial cartoonists draw the same gag. In this article he says:
Sometimes the symbols of current events are so obvious that a number of editorial cartoonists end up drawing roughly the same cartoon, Cagle said. For instance, in the wake of 9/11 many cartoonists drew the Statue of Liberty weeping. Several drew police and firemen raising an American flag on the smoldering pile of World Trade Center wreckage, with a profile evoking the Iwo Jima Memorial. Another gaggle of strikingly similar cartoons depicted a policeman and a fireman standing side by side as the “real twin towers of New York City.”
The similarities of “Yahtzee” cartoons also stem from the fact that “most cartoonists are liberal, 50-year-old white males,” said Cagle, noting that the newspaper industry hasn’t created any new cartoonist jobs in the past 20 years.
Thankfully I am a moderate not close to 50 so I don’t fall into that group. But as I started out my post, I have been both a culprit and a victim of gag theft. WHAT, you say? Yes, I stole the idea for my gag, FROM ME. When I drew the guest cartoon for CockNBull, I thought it was a funny original idea that played well with the characters. Here it is:
Last week Arnie at CockNBull.net asked me to reemail my guest cartoon because he misplaced it. Right after I did, I got a sinking feeling because it dawned on me that I had recently done almost the same exact gag for my Fallen Princesses post.
The really sad part is that I drew these two cartoons exactly 10 days apart…right down to the innocent eye roll of both Bull and Fiona. I am blaming early onset Alzheimers.
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