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April 5, 2007

Today's Comic
Todd Goldman is a hack, throw rocks at him.

April 7, 2007

There are few things I hate more than stealing someone else's hard work - and for some goddamned reason, when it comes to comics, theft of intellectual property and t-shirt designers seem to go hand in hand. I've found Rippy, and versions of him, on fly-by-night t-shirt shops before. I've also seen the comics of people I know being hoisted up with no apology by the thief. It's infuriating and it's an uphill battle.

But at least those assholes hadn't built a small empire and decent wealth off the work of others.

Have you heard of Todd Goldman? He also goes by Todd Goliath and he's the "genius" behind such shirt designs as the "Boys Are Dumb - Throw Rocks At Them" shirts from his company, David and Goliath Tees. He's also got a line of shirts called Goodbye Kitty, meant to be a parody of Hello Kitty, that is actually just an image that's been on the web since the mid-90s.

Yeah. Someone ELSE drew that cat first.

Oh, but that's not all. See, Todd is also a painter. The Jack Gallery in Los Angeles did a recent exhibition entitled Golddigger of his works. Amongst his paintings in their online selection was this piece:

I like that piece a lot. Of course, I enjoyed it even more when it was this:

See, the second image was a comic from the strip, Purple Pussy by Dave Kelly. In face, it was the September 19, 2001 strip. The dialogue is almost the same. The layout is EXACTLY the same. The tail is the same. So are the eyelashes. All that's missing is the bow on her head. Goldman barely changed the text.

This is not the first time Goldman's been accused of ripping other people off. His character, Eve L. bears an uncanny resemblance to Roman Dirge's Lenore. The idea of Goodbye Kitty was something I saw years ago in a Evan Dorkin comic book. Most of the shirts have slogans you've seen on other shirts for years.

In the past I've been very critical of some of Dave Kelly's work on KeenSpot. Some of his other projects, like Living in Greytown (no longer online) and his animation at Something Awful called the Flash Tub are pure genius (if severely NOT safe for work). But one thing is for sure: Dave is an amazing artist, one of the best who's touched webcomics, and this isn't right. Dave Kelly's art deserves to be respected, and slapping your own name on it and hanging it in a gallery isn't respect.

Why am I posting about this? Someone told Kelly about it after she'd seen the piece at the Wentworth Gallery and then he made it public. And Dave Kelly is known for shying away from the spotlight. Also, this is something everyone who does some form of art has to be concerned about. And honestly, anyone who takes someone ELSE'S hard work and tries to pass it off as their own deserves to be called out.

And the consumer deserves to know where art is coming from. And the real artist deserves the praise and support, whether it's criticial or financial, that the piece moves the consumer to offer. And I think everyone knows how enraging it is to work hard and have someone else take credit for it.

Well, maybe everyone except Todd Goldman. -R

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