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Notes From The Periphery

With the Kelly/Goldman brouhaha into its long waiting stages (and goodness — less than a week since it started … we were just getting full into British Tabloid Mode around here), it’s time to mention a few other things:

Peripherally Related To Kelly/Goldman Item One: As reported here, there were questions raised regarding some designs from t-shirt vendor Dirty Microbe. Christian von Kleist wrote from Dirty Microbe wrote to us:

Hi! This is Christian from Dirty Microbe, and I came up with the pixelated skull design and approved the Cutty one. I saw your post when I was doing a Google search for “dirty microbe” (to check our AdWords ads). I’d be totally happy to address the questions you have in your post! We definitely haven’t stolen any ideas knowingly, and I have a good relationship with two of the comic artists in your post and its comments. So… Shoot me back a line and I’d love to chat about stuff!

Props to von Kleist for being willing to answer questions instead of attacking, and we at Fleen are going to take him up on his offer. If you have questions or concerns about the designs or process at Dirty Microbe, send them to me (come on people, you know the address by now) and I’ll forward them on.

Peripherally Related To Kelly/Goldman Item Two: There were a lot of mentions in various place in the past week (including comment threads here at Fleen) that Kelly should try to involve the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund in his quest for righteousness; one person even suggested getting the Fund to back a class-action suit against Goldman. I’ve been a volunteer with the CBLDF and know a number of the decision makers there, and while what I’m about to say is my own conjecture only and doesn’t represent anything official on the part of the Fund, there are a few things people ought to know about the Fund and how it chooses cases. Key words to remember:

  1. Comic Book. The Fund has not yet chosen to accept a case outside of the print realm; partly this is practical (the law of the internet is unsettled and international in scope), and partly because there’s not consensus that webcomics are within their remit.
  2. Legal Defense. The Fund has come to the defense of creators, but Kelly would have to have been the plaintiff in any case he might have brought.
  3. Fund. It’s limited, and frequently taxed by current efforts. Some cases can be addressed relatively simply and in conjunction with other groups, and some requires years of effort and massive amounts of capital. There could be a lot of cases that merit Fund attention that crop up tomorrow, but the ongoing Gordon Lee defense (which to date has cost more than $70,000) is taking up so much time and money that they might not be able to accept. On a related note, because the Fund doesn’t want to have to fight the same case over and over, they tend to pick cases where a binding precedent can be set; that’s not usually the applicable in civil law.

Maybe there needs to be a WCLDF, maybe not. Maybe there needs to be a consensus from webcomics creators that support (monetary and otherwise) be given to the CBLDF in a big way, leading to an incorporation of our unique interests into the Fund’s sphere of influence. But as things stand today, webcomics are mostly on their own.

Peripherally Related To The Last Webcomics Shitfight: The countdown to Wondermark‘s deletion from Wikipedia starts … Now!

Not Peripherally Related To Anything But Awesome On Its Own: You could call this the Tao of Webcomics, courtesy of Rich Stevens.

More people should say “brouhaha”…

I was thinking about the CBLDF in regards to the Kelly/Goldman case last night. I’m a member, though not entirely familiar with their all cases. My impression was they dealt almost exclusively with issues of censorship, freedom of speech, and ‘freedom to purchase’ (if you will). It struck me that this just wouldn’t be something I would expect them to take on.

I was one of the ones who suggested contacting the CBLDF earlier. It wasn’t exactly a well-thought-out plan; thanks for explaining why it wouldn’t be a good idea.

I would assume Wondermark appearing in The Onion would pretty much secure it’s notability on Wikipedia.

Followed closely by The Onion’s entry being nominated for deletion.

I think it’s an excellent suggestion that webcomic artists should buy the love of the CBLDF, and get them to change the name to WWJRD, er, WCLDF.

The other option is to find a firm willing to take the case on contigency… Goldman’s got a big wallet, big company, and if you round up all the artists he’s ripped off with their valid, original copyrights… someone might be willing to risk the cash up front for the possiblity of a large end reward.

I’m not going to go into an extended discussion on Copyright Law… but there’s direct evidence that Goldman copied… hell, he flat out admitted it in the press release… proving Goldman’s access to the original Purple Pussy is the problem.

Wondermark appearing in The Onion is tagged as [citation needed], because apparently a PHOTOGRAPH OF WONDERMARK IN THE ONION is not a reliable source.

Hey, I checked out that Dirty Microbe site, isn’t the Nintendo controller a registered trademark of Nintendo, and don’t they license that to official licensees? Looks like a copy! T shirt guys are all crooks!

Also, common themes are a) using clip art (headless) looking for head, Chairman Mao, Virgina (sic); b) stealing other people’s lame jokes – Assasins, no one reads your blog, Virgina (again).

Great fact checking on your part, Fleen! Lead on!

The “Please God, Make Everyone Die. Amen.” comic was actually in print form for Keenspot’s offering for Free Comic Book Day 2004, but the rest of your points certainly do make sense.

I used to hang out on irc on #oekaki-hell with Dave Kelly aka “Dave Bunnyâ€? and I cant help but think this is yet another bizzare attempt to get attention. Back then he would setup these complicated things to make himself look like a victim for sympathy then go about soaking it all up. When he was exposed that he made the comments or oekaki drawings about him then he would switch into a “pity me im sowwy I did wrong” type thing role playing his infantile alter ego. At one point he made an entire fake web page devoted to hating himself and bashing his baby fur fetish which he had recently taken to a secret friends only oekaki draw board.
has more I used to think he was a kinda cool guy who did some mildly funny web comics but the man is a manipulative monster. Of course no one wants to hear that its like he trains people to defend him in droves just like he did on IRC.

All he has done since I knew him then was cultivate an attitude in those around him that he is this little underdog comic who is routinely made a victim and you just gotta come to his defense. I finally stopped seeing him around IRC after he broke up with an online girlfriend and after she left the room he started a big deal to get everyone to hate on her but she had rejoined the channel under a different name. Basically there was tense short argument and that marked the moment no one would talk to him anymore even though he started going on and on about “Dave bunny cuddles up to you” and trying to talk at people to get them to respond. Since he left #oekaki-hell he is right back to making himself the big victim and surrounding himself in protective fans.

Like everything else negative about him this will in all likelihood be removed to appease Dave Kelly or a random protective fan of his.

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