The webcomics blog about webcomics

Holy Crap. What?

Okay, so I was wondering if earlier in the week I could work in this somehow, since it’s not a webcomic and therefore outside our remit. Prickly City by Scott Stantis is (like the excreble Mallard Fillmore) a lame attempt at rescuing the funny pages from the “liberal mainstream media”. “Why is this not funny and merely shrill and shrieky?” is a question for another day; today, let’s revel in the irony that the joke is a direct lift from a Doonesbury (that paragon of liberality) strip from 1975 (no image available, so this is from memory):

Zonker: So how’d you get the name “Macarthur”, anyway?
Macarthur: Simple. I was a war baby, born in 1942.
M: Actually, I almost got named “Hirohito”, but luckily my parents held off naming me until after the Battle of Midway.
M: As you know, the Japs really got stomped there, lost four carriers! After that, all the Samoan families started naming kids after the general.
Z: At least “Macarthur” is a nice name.
M: Tell that to my sister Doug.

Okay, we’ll be kind and call it an “homage”, set to the tune of Lobachevsky. But what the hell to make of Steve (or possibly Scott — that name is part of the domain) Dial? What we have is an entire website that’s devoted to redrawing (and sometimes not very much) Overcompensating strips and presenting it as original work. I really like the bit at the bottom of each page:

DIALnation and all it’s characters are a trademark of Steve Dial all rights reserved.

Oh, wait, my bad, there’s also a ripoff of the first Something Positive strip, so it’s not exclusively a Jeff Rowland fatal attraction. If you’re interested in seeing a really poorly done monument to plagiarism, do a Google search. No link here, this is some scary, stalker-level shit.

I once implored you to keep an eye on Jeff Rowland and protect him from Rupert Murdoch’s goons, but this strikes me as much, much more dangerous. Anybody that knows this guy is invited to tell him to knock it the hell off.

Are we intentionally not linking to this ripoff artist, or was that an oversight?

I believe we are referring to this site, correct Gary?

It’s so obvious that he ripped Overcompensating off. People are idiots.

Man, what the HELL? That is what I would call blatant.

Intentional, Paul. I refuse to confirm or deny that Nathaniel’s link is correct. We don’t want Jeff Rowland to come home and find his bunny boiling.

Right, sorry, I skipped over that part in the article, so blind was I from empathetic rage :)

His lack of creativity appears to extend to ripping off Don Hertzfeld as well, based on the “comics” posted at the bottom of his homepage.

Man, there’s stupid and then there’s STUPID.

I don’t even get this guy’s motive. I mean, redrawing Overcompensating takes actual effort, it’s not like just posting comics you like on your Livejournal. No ads on the page, so it’s not a money thing. Is he really hoping to attract a massive following of people who don’t know where he got the strips, or does he just have a twisted interpretation of pride in accomplishment?

He’s got a lot of “his” work on the site, much of it just with the signature changed. Apparently he’s hoping nobody’s actually heard of Frank Miller.

I’m probably being too generous, but this level of obsession seems like a sign of mental illness, the artistic equivalent of someone who can’t help but swipe forks even though he has dozens of them at home.

I can’t believe that this guy is seriously doing this with the intention of fooling people. It has to be some kind of weird metahumour or… or something.

But wait, there’s more. He also has a short story from the author of “Fight Club” that he claims as his own. So very strange.

I’d think it was a practical joke if it wasn’t for the staggering amount of time invested in that.

Man. I think I’m inclined to go with the ‘mental illness’ explanation for this guy.

This is really the ultimate in violation for any creative person. It should be spread around the internet so this douche is shamed into submission.

is it just me or has he olso stolen Jeff’s blurbs beneath the comics? There’s low and then there’s *low*.

Also, he forgot to rename Baby – he isn’t even a little good at plaigerising.

Isn’t there a legal precedent for something like this? Someone needs to be sued.

You’re right, PJ, he straight c/p’d Rowland’s comments.

In pointing something out, I’m not defending the guy, since he’s clearly guilty (especially given the cross-strip filching and ): But he even went so far as to date the “Snakes On A Plane” strip several days before Rowland’s (9/17 vs. 9/21). He knew what he was doing, and imbedded a contingency argument in case he got called on the theft.

Or maybe it is Jeff, along with Frank Miller and Mr. Fight Club, who have been stealing HIS ideas! HOW DEEP DOES THE CONSPIRACY GO?

I had a head-scratcher of a day when I discovered that one of my fans had created a sort of synthesis/copy of two of my strips over at… Now, this was weird, but I’d put my characters in Creative Commons so, really, I was inviting this sort of thing. Fortunately, this fan at least put a link back to my site on his “homage.”

But it was still very, very weird.

Holy. Cow.

“Bunnyfiles is a comic I did when I was alot younger, it shows it’s age. The stick figure comics are just somehting I do when I’m bored. I’ve put up some of the ones that make me laugh.


Son of an ironic bitch.

I am jealous beyond words.

Man I kind of didn’t want this to get out, I’m a little frightened at the whole situation (not to mention gruesomely entertained). If there’s anyway this post could be removed I would be thankful.

Also if anyone wants the url just email me, but please keep it secret.

Actually I don’t care now.


Chuck Palahniuk! His name is Chuck Palaniuk! He is a God, and much, much more than just Fight Club Guy!


it’s a shame he doesn’t have as shoutbox or forum to abuse… not that i would. i’m an angel.

I think this guy improves on Overcompensating. Overcompensating was really good, but by subtly revising the material, Steve Dial takes it to a new level. The way he recreates Jeff’s news posts alongside the comics adds a level of meta-reality rarely seen in the conservative daily webcomics scene. I see this young man going an awfully long way.

I am strongly lobbying for Steve Dial’s immediate inclusion within Dumbrella and his debut (like a sparkling new Cadillac) at Comic Con in San Diego.

Maybe there’s just enough ego in him to think that no one will notice. Honestly I get the impression that he’s really proud of the work he’s done.

There’s a message up at now saying “The Bunny Files” has been taken down.

Way to ruin everything guys.

Way to ruin everything guys.

We’re good at that.

I removed the material because I thought Jeff was offended.. but he seems to not be? I dunno anymore..

[…] When Gary linked the first strip of Something Positive in his post on Friday, I doubt he had any idea that he was placing my University career in dire peril. At least, I hope he didn’t. Well, ever since then I’ve been dedicating every free sober moment to it’s deliciously evil charms. I even received a late birthday present in the form of a Trade Paper Back by one of my favorite writers, which will probably go unread until I have burnt through the SP archives. […]

Damn… I’m sad I missed his version of my strip.

Ooh, self-trackback. And in front of God and everybody. You’re so deliciously naughty, Fleen.

Man, who cares? BIG DEAL. Internet is internet. What did he gain by copying? What did Jeff lose? Nothing! Is of no consequence! Where is the problem?

Everybody calm down. I think this guy is just a bot that was originally designed to archive webcomics, until something went horribly wrong. We should praise it for evolving to the advanced stage of intellectual property theft.

[…] your strips and “fix” them. I suppose credit should be given to the 4-chan guys for not claiming to have created these “fixed” […]

[…] the dangers (share sites for scanned comics, stripping away of attribution, even cases of outright thievery), or trying to work out an equivalence between “not paying for music” and “not […]

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