Moebius’ ‘Starwatcher’ Redrawn By Brandon Graham And More [Art]
Among the most ubiquitous of Moebius’ many, many famous science fiction illustrations is “The Starwatcher,” a hypnotically beautiful piece that, in the simplest terms, depicts a pretty girl sitting on a bench. Naturally, the painting by Moebius (aka Jean Giraud) includes much more, like an otherworldly setting, dramatic architecture, sci-fi accoutrements, a mysterious box and a glowing object within. Moebius devotee and King City creator Brandon Graham was inspired to recreate the Starwatcher image in his own style, which in turn inspired one of the best redrawing memes we’ve ever seen.
More work continues to appear on the excellent Moebius art blog Quenched Consciousness, but you can check out a few of our favorite Starwatcher recreations after the cut, including work by Graham, Corey Lewis, Dustin Weaver, Tyler Crook and Moritat.
Written by Jim Henson and his frequent collaborator Jerry Juhl, Tale Of Sand was a completed 1974 screenplay discovered in the late master’s archives. The dark and decidedly surreal story follows an unnamed man who finds himself in a tiny town that, even though it’s in the middle of a seemingly endless desert, contains all manners of cultural anachronisms like swinging jazz clubs, monkeys playing cymbals, and hula girls. For mysterious reasons, the man is brought before the town’s sherif, given a map he’s told he cannot trust and told to run for his life into the desert in search of safety. From what, he does not know. The man is told, “Congratulations.”
The unproduced Tale Of Sand screenplay has been adapted by Archaia and Ramön Pérez for release as an original graphic novel in November. Last weekend marked what would have been Jim Henson’s 75th birthday, and Archaia observed the occasion by releasing a 20-page preview of Tale Of Sand. You can read those pages below.
Working in cooperation with the Jim Henson Company, Tale Of Sand is adapted and illustrated by Ramón Pérez, creator of the Kukuburi and Butternutsquash webcomics, the graphic novel Rifts: The Machinations of Doom, as well as numerous projects for Marvel and DC Comics. You can check out loads of his work at his official website.
20-page preview at ComicsAlliance.
‘Justice League: Doom’ Gets First Promo Image And Voice Cast Details
If you were into the Justice League animated series, odds are you’ll be stoked for Warner Home Video’s animated adaptation of Mark Waid and Howard Porter’s JLA ”Tower of Babel” storyline, Justice League: Doom. TV Guide released the first promo image for the early 2012 release yesterday, reporting that many JL animated alums will reprise familiar roles in the direct-to-DVD/Blu-ray/digital download feature. Stars include Kevin Conroy (Batman), Tim Daly (Superman), Michael Rosenbaum (Flash), Nathan Fillion (Green Lantern), Carl Lumbly (Martian Manhunter), Susan Eisenberg (Wonder Woman) and Bumper Robinson (Cyborg).
It might seem like Doom would have to deviate from its JLA 43-46 source material quite a bit to fit in Hal Jordan and Cyborg (who are both fixtures in DC’s “New 52” version of the Justice League), but given that the new story was written under the pen of the late Dwayne McDuffie, I’m sure fans are in excellent hands. Bruce Timm is working as executive producer, with Lauren Montgomery directing.
New York Comic Con attendees will have a chance to catch the first trailer for Justice League: Doom on October 14, with its official unveiling on the Batman: Year One DVD/Blu-ray on October 18.
[Via TV Guide]
Comics Artist Francesco Francavilla Calls Out TeeFury For ‘Ripping Off’ Artwork
By Andy Khouri
“I don’t usually use the F word, but this is unF@#%ingbelievable,” wrote Francesco Francavilla on Twitter early Monday morning. The comic book artist with a long list of credits including Zorro and Outlaw Territory awoke to discover that TeeFury.com, an apparel website specializing in geeky pop culture T-shirts that are made available for only one day, was selling a product featuring artwork that appears to be based on a piece he created back in 2006. An illustration of author H.P. Lovecraft and his creation Cthulhu, Francavilla’s work, which referenced an old photograph, is strikingly similar to a new piece by Jimi Benedict aka Jimiyo, who is also the Art Director of TeeFury.
Francavilla is not credited in any way for the work, which is selling for $10 a shirt, and has of this writing been unable to establish communication with TeeFury. A resolution seems unlikely given a May 31 blog post entitled “STFU Comparison Police,” in which Benedict made his views plain:
Screw other people’s opinion about whether you ripped an idea or not. They don’t know what’s in your heart, and even then, art is a business, it’s competitive, and barring any infractions of actual executable law, all is fair in love, art, and war.
A great deal of the artwork used to sell t-shirts, swimsuits and other clothes from companies like TeeFury, Threadless, Black Milk and David Goliath tends to be of the pop-cultural-remix variety, whereby two or more familiar components from famous films, comics, television series or popular Internet memes are combined to create something that’s typically very cute and, more crucially, legally distinct from anyone else’s intellectual property. Nevertheless, these companies and others like them have always been criticized for trading in material that is obviously indebted to someone else’s work and precariously close to copyright infringement, if not outright theft (as was the case with Jess Fink and David and Goliath’s Todd Goldman).
The artwork used on these kinds of T-shirts is typically submitted by customers and other individuals who wish to see their designs and illustrations made into clothes and get paid for their work. Unfortunately, user-generated content makes thorough vetting for copyright infringement very difficult. The problem is compounded by the fact that the clothes are usually made available only for an extremely brief amount of time, giving offended artists very little recourse should they discover their work has been pilfered. Essentially, there is no built-in oversight nor a functioning mechanism by which creators like Francesco Francavilla can seek injunctions and reparations, not outside the costly and tedious legal system, anyway.
In preparing this post ComicsAlliance consulted with Brendan P. McFeely, an intellectual property attorney at Kane Kessler, P.C., who confirmed that in the United States, the law is such that the creation of a new work inspired by another work has to be sufficiently “transformative” — i.e., it has to create an entirely new work — in order to qualify for the “fair use” defense against copyright infringement. For the Lovecraft T-shirt to fall under “fair use,” it would have to employ very little of the original Francavalla work and that use would have to be transformative. The end use of the material would also be factored in — in this case, profit.
McFeely believes that TeeFury’s version of the Francavalla image may not sufficiently transformative, and that Francavalla or his attorney could draft a letter to TeeFury setting forth at least five points of similarity between the two images. Among them, the figure of Lovecraft himself, who is identical right down to the artist’s shading (although his clothing has been modified). The unusual right eye has also been maintained in the TeeFury version.
UPDATE: Shortly after publishing this post, we learned that Francavilla’s piece references an old photograph of Lovecraft in which the figure and shading are also similar. McFeely said that “definitely complicates things” and makes the argument that TeeFury infringed upon Francavilla’s work that much harder. “It’s entirely possible that they could have been inspired by the same photograph to create two very similar pieces,” he said.
However, it would seem that Francavilla innovated the creepy right eye element of the piece, which is also present in TeeFury’s version.
As you can see in his portfolio, TeeFury’s Art Director Jimi Benedict has created a number of works with similarities to other people’s illustrations, designs and photographs. He is credited with the Lovecraft design for September 26’s TeeFury offering, and addressed the question of artwork similarities and theft in a blog post back in May. In the post, entitled “STFU Comparison Police,” Benedict detailed the creation of another piece that was similar to the work of other artists. He concluded that no ideas are original and that “marketing” is the critical factor in these matters.Neither Benedict nor another TeeFury representative responded to inquiries from ComicsAlliance.
IMO, it’s easy to get butthurt when you’re so vain that you think you’ve come up with a wholly original idea, but let’s face it, everyone’s inspired by someone else, and to get butthurt about getting ripped is more about you inability to market and be successful with your own art than the one succeeding in marketing it. So get your ass out there and market.
As Voltaire once stated, “Originality is nothing but judicious imitation.”
As Picasso once stated, “Bad artists copy. Good artists steal.”
As Olly Moss once stated, “Bad artists copy. Good artists steal. - Olly Moss”
As I stated centuries ago before anyone else did, “Originality is nothing but judicious stealing. - jimiyo”
For those interested in purchasing a t-shirt with Francavalla’s Lovecraft image, the artist has been selling an authorized version on Zazzle for the last several years.
The Late Minck Oosterveer’s BOOM! Studios Work Available For Free Digitally
Best known in Europe for works like Nicky Stax and Zodiak and in the United States for Ruse and The Unknown with Mark Waid, prolific Dutch comics artist Minck Oosterveer died last weekend in a tragic motorcycle accident. While not a superstar in the American comics industry, Oosterveer’s work was strongly influenced by American masters like Will Eisner and Milton Caniff, and his synthesis of those classic styles with modern sensibilities and impeccable technique made Oosterveer a favorite of those who read his work.
In concurrence with a touching remembrance from Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon, BOOM! Studios is honoring the life and work of Minck Oosterveer by making available for free digital editions of The Unknown and The Unknown: Devil Made Flesh, written by Mark Waid and illustrated by the late artist.
On the BOOM! Studios website, Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon wrote the following about Oosterveer.All individual issues of The Unknown and The Unknown: Devil Made Flesh are available for a limited time for free via all of BOOM! Studios’ digital stores: comiXology, iVerse, Graphic.ly, and mydigitalcomics.com. Alternatively, you can purchase trade paperbacks of both The Unknown books as well as Waid and Oosterveer’s Ruse: The Victorian Guide to Murder in paperback at finer comics shops and bookstores.
Minck was incredibly kind and thoughtful, funny and smart, passionate and genuine. As an artist, you literally couldn’t ask for anybody more professional and talented. His art was–is–transcendent. He would turn in beautiful comic book pages, every day, that were damn near perfect. Every morning I would look forward to opening my e-mail and seeing a new page from Minck. His work ethic and consistent level of quality was uncanny. There was a never a deadline he couldn’t meet. The man was truly a rare talent.
For more of Oosterveer’s artwork, check out his website and DeviantArt page.
You can read a preview of The Unknown at ComicsAlliance.
Girls Love Superheroes Too: A Tumblr of Tiny Superheroine Adorableness
When the subject of women in comics or the dearth of female fans comes up in discussions, one of the most common counterarguments is, “well, girls just aren’t naturally that into superheroes!” The adorable Tumblr Superheroes Are For Girls Too by @dcwomenkicknass would beg to differ, compiling photos that display the superheroic love of little ladies who proudly sporting the costumes, power rings and assorted weaponry of their favorite heroes. My personal favorite is a charming video of a little girl who was going to a birthday party where the boys were going to be superheroes and the girls princesses, and she decided to be both — because who says you can’t?