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The Round-up

November 24, 2012 in General, Links, News

© Dave Walker @Procartoonists.org

Dave Walker, regular contributor to Church Times and a member of Procartoonists.org, produced the cartoon above for The Guardian this week, following the Church of England’s decision to reject the ordination of women bishops. Dave’s cartoon has attracted more than 100 comments, and counting.

Having moved into greeting card designs, Matthew Inman – the cartoonist behind US website The Oatmeal – is being sued for trademark infringement. Inman was involved in another legal rights battle earlier in the year, against online content aggregator FunnyJunk. In that instance, FunnyJunk had been using Oatmeal material without permission – but bizarrely issued a lawsuit against Inman. Refresh your memory by reading our coverage of the case.

Darren Davis, the man behind independent comics publisher Bluewater Productions, is embracing a move into digital publishing, but is finding another side of the internet – online criticism – hard to take.

The New Yorker has published its third annual ‘bookazine’ cartoon compilation. The New Yorker Cartoons of the Year 2012 features more than 250 of the best gags that have run in the magazine this year, along with new material. No word yet on whether it will be distributed outside the US, but previous editions have made their way to the UK courtesy of discerning stockists including the London Review Bookshop.

The Round-up

July 6, 2012 in General, Links, News

"Casino Karl" (detail) © Chichi Parish

Following a successful run at the Poetry Cafe in Covent Garden, an exhibition inspired by the work of poet and illustrator Edward Lear is now being shown elsewhere. Happy Birthday Edward Lear features work by 25 cartoonists and illustrators, among them the Procartoonists.org member Chichi Parish, above. It can be seen at Penny Fielding Gallery & Interiors in Walthamstow Village, London, until August 26. It is then due to be shown at a gallery in Southampton during the autumn. Chichi has written about the exhibition on her blog, which is always worth a read.

The extraordinary lawsuit against the Oatmeal cartoonist Matthew Inman has been dropped. You can read a useful recap here, or see our previous posts on the subject here and here.

Two separate cartoons have become the subjects of race rows based on their depictions of Barack Obama and the footballer Mario Balotelli.

The Cartoon Museum in London will celebrate 75 years of The Dandy with a dedicated exhibition this autumn.

Finally, Forbidden Planet has details of the launch of the British Comic Awards, and the official awards site features an interesting piece about the origin of its logo design.

Cartoonist refuses to grin and bear it

June 13, 2012 in Events, General, News

Matthew Inman, the cartoonist behind popular US website The Oatmeal, wrote about a website that was stealing his images a year ago.

His blog post about FunnyJunk.com received a response and the subsequent removal of Inman’s images was welcomed, even though not all of them were taken down. Eventually, Inman decided it wasn’t worth the energy to continue to pursue the remainder and he let the matter lie.

To his surprise, this month, he was served legal papers informing him that the owner of the FunnyJunk.com site was filing a federal lawsuit against him alleging defamation and false advertising. It also asked for a payment of $20,000 as a remedial act.

In response, and after taking his own legal advice, Inman wrote a new blog post, featuring the legal letter in question, and offering to undertake the following:

To raise $20,000 in donations, to take a photo of the money, to post the photo, along with a deliberately crude cartoon of the website owner’s mom seducing a Kodiak bear, below, and finally to give half the donation to the National Wildlife Federation and the other part to the American Cancer Society.

Cartoon © Matthew Inman at theoatmeal.com

The campaign, which he has dubbed “Bearlove Good. Cancer Bad” was set up on the fundraising website Indiegogo with a 15-day deadline to raise the money. Within the first hour it had raised the $20,000 target, and now stands (at the time of writing) at $142,753, with 14 days still to go.

The lawyer acting for FunnyJunk.com, Charles Carreon, is reported by MSNBC to be “bewildered” by this response.

Of course, websites that use cartoon artwork without consent are nothing new – Procartoonists.org member Royston Robertson recently tweeted about an article on Citizen Journalism that uses a cartoon of his stolen from the CartoonStock website. Matthew Buck had a similar experience with the Guido Fawkes political blog and the US cartoonist Mike Lynch reports this story from 2009. There are doubtless many more examples. Please tell us about them in the comments if you would like to share your experience.

Inman has been drawing caricatures of his contributors’ avatars on Twitter as a way of saying thank you to those who chose to donate to his successful fundraising.