Being a former webcomic artist, I still follow the internet comic art community with some interest. Most of you have probably never heard of Dave Kelly (aka "Shmorky"), a web artist over at Something Awful. Kelly is currently experiencing what every artist hopes will never happen to them: seeing their own work blatantly ripped off (and in this case, profited from) by someone else. It's called plagiarism, and it's something they teach you in grade school not to do. Todd Goldman apparently never got that memo. Perhaps he was home-schooled by unscrupulous parents. Who knows?

Goldman, a self-styled "pop artist," owns a company called David and Goliath, which produces merchandise bearing Goldman's designs. By "designs" I mean "images which Goldman has sent to him from a team of minions whose job is to scour Google Image Search for fresh ideas, which Goldman then directly traces and alters slightly to suit his own purposes."

Think I'm being a little too harsh? Check out this site where Goldman's self-professed "original designs" are compared to previous works by other artists. (Note: Here's a mirror site in case you can't access that link.) The man has absolutely no shame. Regarding the Dave Kelly incident, Goldman is reported as saying "I made a judgment error and didn’t research the background of this particular submission. My intention was not to copy Mr. Kelly. I have never seen his work before and would never intentionally knock-off someone else’s idea." Sure you wouldn't, Todd. Not when it can make you a cool $4,000 or more off one painting.

My opinion? It's pretty obvious that Goldman has been doing this for a while and just now got busted with his pants down and a basket of kiddy porn. He's been hoping the internet comics community wouldn't notice his blatant acts of plagiarism (in some cases, direct tracing of the image can be observed), or maybe he's just stupid enough to think that if art is on the internet, it belongs to everyone! Somehow, I doubt the latter.

If there's not one already, there needs to be a boycott movement against David and Goliath products. Hit the fucker in his wallet, where it'll actually do some damage. It's not too hard to hop on this bandwagon since most of the merch sucks anyways.

I get a lot of people asking me why none of my old comics are still up on the internet. It's because of things like this that I took all my comics down and will not be posting any kind of internet archive. It's too easy to lose your work to some unscrupulous bastard.

Form your own opinion: Shmorky's original post on the Something Awful forums, with plenty of links to Goldman-related arcana.


Justin said...

With all of these new posts, I haven't done so much reading, since. Well, ever.

My eyes hurt.

Justin said...

Why did you stop writing?

Now I'm bored.