I am a thief!

Bear with me as I bare my bareless soul in this confession.  It will be a long post but I guarantee both informative and entertaining.

A few days ago in my post about my guest cartoon at CockNBull Webcomic, I lamented that I unbeknowingly stole the  the idea.  Here is what I said:

Tonight or tomorrow, I will tell the story of shame that I have for not realizing until I looked at it again last week, that I had lifted the idea from someone who is bright, talented, good looking, and a hero to us all.  I will put up my apology then.

Bonus points if you know who and what cartoon.

Well no one gathered to make a guess.  Oh, I know George Ford (of Addanac City fame) was all aglow as he clicked on the link to the comic at CockNBull thinking he was the unfortunate soul who was robbed of his intellectual property.  But of course he was wrong and never came back.  It would not have been the first time Mr Ford has called me out because just a week ago after posting this cartoon:

7 7 09 Bearman Cartoon Enquirer copy

He sent me the following email (I deleted all the nice things he wrote for effect):

Unh-huh. Plagiarism, scandal, and libel! I see how you roll, Mr. Man. 
I was reading your cartoon on the newspaper industry and it reminded me of this:
But you will be getting an email from my lawyer. 🙂

To which I responded:

Then again, I looked at the link and there were no comments.  Now you might say you lost all your comments when you switched over to hosting on comicpress but I say if a cartoonists draws something and noone comments does it count?

Some have said that George has been rehashing jokes that were written as far back as the pyramids of Egypt.  Don’t believe me, check out his site today (then check it out tomorrow, and again for about 200 days after that).  Oh and make sure you leave a comment on the site….he really hates when people do that.

Anyway, I am digressing more than Brit at Blunt Delivery in trying to tell this story.

Comic Strip and editorial cartoonists have been doing the same bits as each other for decades.  Bill of Comics I don’t Understand refers to two comic strip cartoonists doing the same gag in the same day as “Synchronicity”   Daryl Cagle uses the term “Yahtzee” to refer to times when five or more editorial cartoonists draw the same gag.  In this article he says:

Sometimes the symbols of current events are so obvious that a number of editorial cartoonists end up drawing roughly the same cartoon, Cagle said. For instance, in the wake of 9/11 many cartoonists drew the Statue of Liberty weeping. Several drew police and firemen raising an American flag on the smoldering pile of World Trade Center wreckage, with a profile evoking the Iwo Jima Memorial. Another gaggle of strikingly similar cartoons depicted a policeman and a fireman standing side by side as the “real twin towers of New York City.”

The similarities of “Yahtzee” cartoons also stem from the fact that “most cartoonists are liberal, 50-year-old white males,” said Cagle, noting that the newspaper industry hasn’t created any new cartoonist jobs in the past 20 years.

 Thankfully I am a moderate not close to 50 so I don’t fall into that group.  But as I started out my post, I have been both a culprit and a victim of gag theft.  WHAT, you say?  Yes, I stole the idea for my gag, FROM ME.  When I drew the guest cartoon for CockNBull, I thought it was a funny original idea that played well with the characters.  Here it is:

 6 26 09 Bearman Cartoon CockNBull copy

Last week Arnie at CockNBull.net asked me to reemail my guest cartoon because he misplaced it. Right after I did, I got a sinking feeling because it dawned on me that I had recently done almost the same exact gag for my Fallen Princesses post.

6 16 09 Bearman Cartoon Fallen Princesses

The really sad part is that I drew these two cartoons exactly 10 days apart…right down to the innocent eye roll of both Bull and Fiona. I am blaming early onset Alzheimers.

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38 Responses to “I am a thief!”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. yorksnbeans says:

    You should be totally ashamed of yourself, Bear!! I’m striking you from my blogroll.


    Joe King

  2. Phillyzero says:

    Lol, I’m glad you deleted the nice things for effect. I think it’s pretty hard to write single panel gags without EVER crossing into some territory of what someone else has done. Still, I’m going to keep my eye on you now 😉

  3. George says:

    Ok…ok….I’ll settle with you for a Quarter Pounder and a Yoo-Hoo. A Double Quarter Pounder.

    And why did you delete the part in my email about me sending over those two dudes to rough “youse” up? 😀

    Much love, Bearman! Hahaha!

  4. alantru says:

    Fess up, my friend. You stole it all from me. And I stole it all from some kid named “bad news Lupus”, who never actually had lupus. He stole it from the cookie jar that his dad stole from a grocery store that was owned by my grandfather. True story.

    • I see you have taken my advice and continue to go back to his site day after day. Obviously you are telling your friends because it is only helping his ad rates all the traffic you keep sending him.

      Why do I have to get someone else’s hater on my site. Can’t I get my own. Craig Babin has his, George has you. I don’t want to be accused of stealing you..haha

  5. Sheila Deeth says:

    Well, I’m glad you had the grace to apologize to yourself, and to accept the apology. I like the synchronicity and Yahtzee ideas. Don’t they play Yahtzee with movie concepts too – seems like everything comes at least in pairs.

  6. Are you shamming us Bear, is this some Andy Kaufman like gag?

  7. cbabin says:

    Look Bearman, you can’t get someone to hate you by stealing your own material. That doesn’t make you a thief … it just makes you stupid. It’s like robbing a bank and only asking for the money from your own account! lol.

  8. I knew that scene looked familiar! You’re such an honest thief. You should’ve just lied to yourself about it instead of confessing. You never would have known if you hadn’t told.

    • “You never would have known if you hadn’t told.’

      So you are saying I am not only a thief but stupid too. It was me that fessed up to me in the first place that I was the victim.

  9. Nate Fakes says:

    How do I become a hater? It never worked good for me. I tried to join a gang once, and they wanted me to rob a liqueur store and all I stole was a Push-Pop. Then, when I was supposed to cap someone, I threw a pen cap at them. And they said I WASN’T a hater, because all I did was tell them how bad their AC was. (sigh). I need to go to hater 101 so I can get with it. Haters sound like they have a thrilling life of accomplishing web traffic.

  10. digressing? i don’t….

    excuse me while i go warm up some macaroni and cheese. Okay, i’m back. Wait, now i’m parched. Crap, I’m all out of bottled water and i can’t drink my tap water on account of the rust levels.

    ugh. anyway, I’m appalled you would suggest that I digress so regularly.

  11. oh, so so clever.


  1. […] did a long post on the topic (last year) of how and why several cartoonists coming up with the same idea.  In short  talks […]

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