The above image is actually a parody by Natalie Dee of the well known “Boys are Stupid” image by Todd Goldman. Todd has gone on to spawn an empire of clothing based on similar designs. It seems his empire of sardonic humor is beginning to crumble.
It seems that Todd Goldman copied an image almost verbatim from another artist named Shmorky and began selling it in his catalog. Being familiar with Shmorky’s work I was interested in the story when I first read it a week ago. However, this thing has snowballed into something huge. The website chronicling Todd’s plagiarism is filling up with more examples of stolen work every day. I decided to post something about this when I discovered that he also had stolen work from Bill Waterson, creator of the most brilliant daily comic ever, Calvin & Hobbes.
How someone can go on for so long without being called out for blatent intellectual theft is pretty amazing. What is even more astounding is how quickly one internet meme can destroy an entire reputation. Andy Warhol once stated that in the future everyone would have their fifteen minutes of fame. With the advent of the internet though, that fifteen minutes of fame can be cut off short.
It is also interesting to note that this story would most likely never be covered by major news media outlets. Bloggers are more adept at fact checking these types of stories. They are not burdened by the advertisers and management of big media. They serve a function that would be absolutely impracticable. Todd Goldman just got a smack down on a grand scale from a source I highly doubt he ever suspected. Had big media covered this event, he could have his PR department issue a statement and that would be that. Issuing that same style of PR statement on the internet would be the same as throwing yourself to the wolves. You will get torn apart. I am willing to bet that because his target demographic is mostly internet-savy his sales for the upcoming quarters will be down.
Full Disclosure: One time in the Oshkosh Advance-Titan newspaper I was accused in the Gripe Line of stealing work from explodingdog.com. Typically when you draw stick people though they are going to look similar. Truth be told I am a much bigger fan of the afformentioned Natalie Dee. I have also never profited from any drawings I have done, nor do I plan on ever doing so. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, unless there is money involved. Then its just theft.